An Illinois man has sought to nail one of the largest home
improvement retailers in the country with a class action lawsuit, asserting
they should be made to pay for selling two-by-fours and other pieces of lumber
that don't measure up to their listed dimensions.
On March 8, plaintiff Mikhail Abramov filed his complaint in
Chicago federal court against The Home Depot, asserting the way the Atlanta,
Ga.-based retailer sells lumber is not just an open secret in the construction
trades, but a violation of consumer fraud laws.
Abramov is represented in the lawsuit by attorneys with the
McGuire Law P.C. firm, of Chicago.
In the lawsuit, Abramov asserts he purchased a piece of “dimensional
lumber” sold at Home Depot’s store in Palatine store in December 2016. While
the label had asserted the lumber measured four inches wide by four inches high
and six feet long (4X4x6), Abramov said when he measured the lumber piece at
home, its actual dimensions were 3.5x3.5x6, “which was 12.5 percent shorter in
height and width, and approximately 23 percent less overall material than
advertised and represented by (Home
Abramov alleged the practice of shorting customers of the
dimensional lumber pieces they purchase is common at Home Depot. The complaint
noted, for instance, “the most commonly used 2” x 4” – 8’ framing lumber
actually measures 1.5” x 3.5” – 8’.”
“Nowhere does Defendant state that the advertised dimensions
are not the actual dimensions of the products, that the advertised dimensions
were ‘nominal’ dimensions, or anything else to indicate that the products’
actual dimensions differ from those explicitly stated on the advertising and
product labeling,” Abramov’s complaint said.
The complaint asserts Abramov and other potential plaintiffs
“would not have purchased the dimensional lumber products … or would have paid
materially less for them, had they known that Defendant’s representations as to
the dimensions of these products were false and misleading.”
The complaint asserts Home Depot has profited from its “false
marketing and sale” of the lumber, but does not specify how.
Abramov’s complaint asks the court to allow him to expand
the lawsuit to include everyone in the U.S. who purchased lumber from Home
Depot, as well as to create a special subclass of Illinois plaintiffs who
purchased lumber at Home Depot in the past three years.
The lawsuit asks the court to award unspecified actual and
compensatory damages, or to order Home Depot to disgorge “all funds unjustly
retained … as a result of its unfair and deceptive practices.” The complaint
also requests attorney fees, and jury trial.