U.S. seeks criminal charges against Lumber Liquidators

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TOANO, Virginia (AP) — The Justice Department is seeking criminal charges against Lumber Liquidators in an ongoing investigation over how much formaldehyde is contained in imported products, the company said Wednesday as its shares plunged, down 13 percent before the opening bell.

In March, a report by CBS’ “60 Minutes” said that Lumber Liquidators’ laminate flooring made in China contains high levels of formaldehyde. Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. has said that it complies with applicable regulations for its products.

In a regulatory filing Wednesday, Lumber Liquidators said that the Justice Department was seeking criminal charges against it under the Lacey Act.

The company, based in Toano, Virginia, also disclosed that it is aware of more than 100 pending class-action lawsuits against it related to its Chinese-made laminate flooring.

An colorless, flammable gas at room temperature with a pungent odor, formaldehyde has been linked to cancer risk in humans and animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s toxicology profile of the substance.