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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Lumber Liquidators is stopping the sale of all its Chinese laminate flooring, a week after disclosing that the Justice Department is seeking criminal charges against the specialty retailer in an investigation over imported products.
The company has been under fire since early March over safety concerns. A “60 Minutes” report showed the flooring, made in China, contained high levels of formaldehyde.
More than 100 lawsuits against the company have been filed, including one in South Florida.
CBS4’s Michele Gillen spoke to Joaquin Badias, a man who, after watching the report which aired in March, tore his flooring out himself of his Homestead home.
The company has sent thousands of air testing kits to customers since early March. It said more than 97 percent of the kits from customers with laminate flooring from China showed formaldehyde air concentrations that fell within World Health Organization guidelines.
It also said its suppliers have certified and labeled the flooring as compliant with California formaldehyde standards. But Lumber Liquidators is reviewing those certification processes.
Lumber Liquidators said last week that it has spent $2.3 million on its air-quality assurance program. The company also has said it has stopped buying Chinese laminate flooring for now, opting instead for products from parts of Europe and North America.
Lumber Liquidators also said last week in a regulatory filing that the Justice Department is seeking charges under the Lacey Act which, among other things, bans illegally sourced wood products.
Company shares fell nearly 3 percent, or 75 cents, to $26.48 Thursday before markets opened. The stock has shed more than half its value since approaching $70 per share in late February.
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