$2.5 Million Deal Ends CARB Probe of Lumber Liquidators

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By Steven M. Sellers and Carolyn Whetzel

March 22 — Lumber Liquidators will pay $2.5 million as part of a Mar. 21 administrative settlement with the California Air Resources Board to resolve that agency's inquiry into allegedly excessive formaldehyde emissions from composite wood flooring formerly sold by the company.

The company, based in Taino, Va., also agreed to take steps to ensure its products meet CARB standards in the future, according the terms of the settlement.

“CARB has concluded its review with no formal finding of violation or admission of wrongdoing on the part of the company,” according to Lumber Liquidators' March 22 statement on the deal.

Part of the settlement requires Lumber Liquidators to conduct regulators audits of its existing and new suppliers and randomly test composite core samples, CARB said March 22.

The agency claimed that Lumber Liquidators offered composite wood products for sale in California with formaldehyde levels in excess of those permitted by state standards, “and that Lumber Liquidators failed to take reasonable prudent precautions to ensure those products met such limits designed to protected public health,” according to the statement issued by CARB.

Lumber Liquidators is enmeshed in multidistrict litigation of hundreds of individual suits and class actions over formaldehyde levels in its laminated flooring. That litigation is pending in the Eastern District of Virginia .

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven M. Sellers in Washington at ssellers@bna.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hayes at phayes@bna.com

For More Information

The settlement agreement is available at http://src.bna.com/dut