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Lumber Liquidators

Lumber Liquidators Pays $2.5 Million to Settle Clean Air Claims

Lumber LiquidatorsHardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators has paid the California Air Resources Board (CARB) $2.5 million to settle CARB claims that Lumber Liquidators sold composite wood products that exceeded the state’s formaldehyde limits.

Lumber Liquidators says it has not sold these products since May 2015.

“Consumer safety is our top priority and, over the past year, we have implemented a number of customer-focused initiatives,” said CEO John Presley in a statement. “We strengthened our quality assurance procedures, launched the largest voluntary testing program in our nation’s history and, in May 2015, voluntarily suspended the sale of all laminate flooring sourced from China. We look forward to continuing to work with CARB to establish new industry standards for flooring product testing. We believe today’s settlement will go a long way in helping us to execute our strategy, which includes rebuilding our brand and communicating — with clarity and candor — the value of our products to our customers and stakeholders.”

During inspections at Lumber Liquidators’ stores in California between September 2013 and May 2015, CARB staff obtained boxes of laminate flooring samples for testing that were labeled as compliant. CARB notified Lumber Liquidators that the testing showed some of the samples exceeded state formaldehyde limits. CARB alleges that the company failed to take reasonable prudent precautions to ensure that laminate flooring sold in California complied with the formaldehyde emissions standards in California’s Airborne Toxic Control Measure for composite wood products.

Formaldehyde is a toxic air contaminant, a known human carcinogen and a respiratory irritant, is found in a variety of manufactured products and is a common component of resins used as adhesives to form composite wood products.

Under CARB’s regulation, composite wood products must be independently certified as complying with the state standard for formaldehyde.

CARB says Lumber Liquidators cooperated with state officials during the investigation. The full payment by Lumber Liquidators of $2.5 million has been deposited into the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which provides funding for projects and research to improve California’s air quality.

Additionally, Lumber Liquidators has developed, and agreed to implement, a Fabricator Laminate Evaluation and Audit Program and a Composite Core Testing Research Program, requiring the company to conduct regular audits of existing and new suppliers and to randomly test composite core samples. Lumber Liquidators says the new programs “will set a new standard for the industry and ensure that all products are tested appropriately and consistently on behalf of consumers and businesses.”

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One thought on “Lumber Liquidators Pays $2.5 Million to Settle Clean Air Claims

  1. I’d call that a very low-level solution. The deception was clearly foreseeable, that negligence led to civilian endangerment of gullible, and in my view to some degree also negligent, victims.

    The US Government which, as typical, is so dedicated to the capitalist notion of raising taxes under any pretext allows these travesties and then puts on a show of ‘being concerned’ when it is too late….not as late as ‘too late’ could be but’ too late’ anyway.

    The requirements for testing may do some good but who’s going to transparently, say to ISO31000 and chemicals-toxins and eco-system requirements?. The majority of non-engineering people I have met have no idea that standards are requirements for the MOST MINIMAL compliance. Anything which just meets standards is nothing to brag about.

    Who will audit testing and testing methodology? ‘London to a brick’ it will be the same provider of poisons to innocent victims or even more ‘laughably’ China!! .

    The $2.5 million, a paltry sum by US hyper-fines levels should be going directly to any possible repairs to the harm done. Is it adequate?…Is there any way the harm can be repaired.

    My view is that fining the shareholders of an entity is of little improvement, taking away essential assets of directors, their homes for example, will smarten up such corporate negligence and criminality. When Insurance Companies pay the fines and costs or part of them the offenders have a field day; the general user of insurance probably at least in part pays out for being exploited by those these exploitive,’ don’t want to know’ negligent, greed driven capitalist ‘entrepreneurs’ and the negligent government. China just ‘carries-on-regardless’.

    These ones are only the predators who were caught; millions of others are safer now as CARP will relax a while after every victory and headline.

    The Lumber Liquidators negligence began, probably long before this event, they decided to without care to exploit people…(as do central bankers, banks, wall street, governments and a litany of others) but certainly in practical terms the moment they decided to import and profit from material they did not do anything to prove was US-compliant. Presuming they genuinely believed it was compliant is inadequate and negligent in itself particularly in anything produced in Asia.

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