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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lumber Liquidators disputes ‘60 Minutes’

Report said some flooring high in formaldehyde

Associated Press

TOANO, Va. – Lumber Liquidators is refuting a “60 Minutes” report that raised health concerns about some of its laminate flooring products and pushed its stock price to its lowest level in more than two years.

In a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lumber Liquidators said all of its laminate flooring meets the safety standards set by regulators throughout the U.S. The defense came the day after “60 Minutes” aired findings that some of Lumber Liquidators’ flooring made in China had high levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogen.

The tests by three certified labs concluded the amounts of formaldehyde failed to meet California’s emissions standards.

Lumber Liquidators’ stock plunged $13.03, or 25 percent, to close at $38.83. Earlier in the session, the shares fell to $38.19, the lowest since July 2012.

The Toano, Virginia, company asserted that the doubts being raised by its products are being fueled by “short sellers” – investors that make money by placing bets that specific stocks will drop in value.

Lumber Liquidators said random testing of its six laminate flooring suppliers in China determined the products were “safe and compliant.”

“We stand by every single plank of wood and laminate we sell all around the country,” the company said in its SEC filing.

Lumber Liquidators has 354 stores in the U.S. and Canada, including 37 in California. The company earned $63 million on sales of $1.05 billion last year.

The “60 Minutes” report is the second damaging blow to Lumber Liquidators in less than week.

In a separate SEC filing last Wednesday, the company disclosed the U.S. Justice Department may seek criminal charges against it under the Lacey Act, which is a U.S. law that includes a ban on illegally sourced wood products.

Lumber Liquidators’ stock has plummeted by 44 percent since last Wednesday’s filing.