We now have a resolution to that lumber lawsuit I mentioned earlier:Lumber lawsuit against Menards dismissed; judge says retailer didn't lie about its 4x4s
A federal judge has slammed the door on the Illinois lumber shoppers who sued Menards claiming it deceived them about the size of its 4x4s.
Saying no reasonable consumer would regard Menards’ descriptions of its lumber the way plaintiffs Michael Fuchs and Vladislav Krasilnikov said they did, the judge last week dismissed the would-be class action lawsuit against the Wisconsin-based home-improvement chain.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang throws out a case in which Menards was accused of deception because it marketed and labeled its 4x4s without specifying that the boards measure 3½ by 3 ½ inches.
So-called dimensional lumber — 2x4s, 4x4s, 2x6s and such — is commonly sold by names that do not specify the measurements of the pieces. The longstanding industry convention is recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which distinguishes between the “nominal” designations for pieces of lumber and their actual size. The department says a 2x4, for example, can measure 1½ inches thick by 3½ inches wide.
The distinction between the name and the actual dimensions stems from the fact that lumber, when it is produced, typically is trimmed to smooth it after the initial rough cut, Chang said in his decision.
The government endorsement of the industry practice supports Menards’ argument that it didn’t falsely market its lumber, Chang said.
Further, he said, the labels on the lumber “are literally true,” because they do not show inch-mark symbols after the customary trade names of the lumber.
“Without a literally untrue statement, combined with the government-recognized distinction between nominal sizes and actual sizes, no reasonable consumer would think that the labels showed the exact dimensions of the lumber,” Chang said.
Beyond that, the judge said, Fuchs and Krasilnikov — who alleged they discovered they had been deceived when they got home and measured their lumber — easily could have used their tape measures in the store.
“It would be one thing if packaging prevented access to the height and width. … It is another thing where the plaintiffs can readily see if there is a mismatch between what they perceive as the size on the label and the height and width of the lumber,” Chang said.
In a brief statement, Menards applauded the decision by Chang, who sits in the northern district of Illinois.
“We feel that it was a frivolous lawsuit at best and we’re glad that common sense prevailed,” Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott said by email.
An attorney with McGuire Law, the Chicago-based class action firm that represented Fuchs and Krasilnikov, did not respond to a request for comment.
McGuire Law also represents the plaintiff in a similar lawsuit against Home Depot. That case is pending.
Home Depot lawsuit still pending but I don't see why the result should be any different.
I think the defendants should be awarded attorney costs too.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.