Class action lawsuit filed against Lumber Liquidators

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by Nick Ochsner, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 6 at 6:10 AM

NORFOLK -- A second federal, class action lawsuit has been filed against Toano-based Lumber Liquidators, alleging the company broke a number of federal laws in importing and selling wood flooring from China.

The most recent lawsuit claims Lumber Liquidators knowingly sold wood flooring that contained more than three times the legal limit of formaldehyde.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by Jason Leviton and his law firm, Block & Leviton

Leviton said in an exclusive interview with 13News Now on Thursday that the lawsuit is the result of a six-month long investigation into the company's sourcing practices.

Leviton said the investigation began when customers became suspicious of the product after installing it in their homes.

"When we really started investigating and started looking around and talking to consumers, what became inevitably true over and over was that people were experiencing real problems after their Lumber Liquidators flooring was put into place," Leviton said. "Things like toxic fumes, burning of the nostrils, throat, coughing, things like that. Those are all side-effects of formaldehyde."

The lawsuit also claims the company knowingly purchased wood flooring from a China-based manufacturer that was illegally cutting down trees in Russia.

Leviton said the lawsuit seeks compensation for clients who would not have bought the flooring, or would have paid significantly less, had they known about the alleged issues.

The lawsuit  comes on the heels of a suit filed on behalf of the company's investors, which claims shareholders lost money because the company sold allegedly tainted flooring products.

Both lawsuits contain claims thought to be currently under investigation by federal authorities.

Investigators with Homeland Security Investigations, US Fish & Wildlife and the Department of Justice raided the company's Toano headquarters in September.  That investigation is ongoing.

A spokesman for Lumber Liquidators told 13News Now Thursday afternoon the company cannot comment on pending litigation.

Click here to read the complete complaint.

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