Lumber Lawsuit Doesn’t Measure Up

Two home improvement stores are being sued in separate class-action lawsuits filed by the same attorney for allegedly selling 4×4 lumber that doesn’t match up to 4″ x 4″.

Some customers of Home Depot and Menards have joined together in class-action lawsuits accusing the retailers of false advertising because a 4×4 piece of lumber is not actually four inches by four inches. Yet, according to news reports, it is a general understanding among contractors and carpenters, as well as throughout the lumber industry, that the discrepancy has been that way for decades. In both lawsuits, the plaintiffs claim to be damaged by the alleged deception, but neither complaint specifies the damages.

In a court filing in support of its motion to dismiss, Home Depot argues that the plaintiffs “received exactly what they were supposed to receive – lumber that complies with applicable standards – and thus have not suffered an injury-in-fact.”

The stores take issue with the claims of any real damage done by the use of the nominal measurements.

“Plaintiffs’ claims are based entirely on the thickness and width of the product,” notes the Menards memorandum. “[R]egardless of what the shelf tags and product labels purportedly said or did not say, the undeniable fact remains that Plaintiffs received exactly what they were supposed to receive.”


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