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CARPET INDUSTRY GIANTS NAMED IN CLASS ACTION SUIT FOR CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION OF CARPETING

 PHILADELPHIA, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Carpet industry giants, Shaw Industries, Inc., Beau Lieu of America, Inc. and World Carpets, Inc. have been named as defendants in a class action lawsuit filed today in federal court in Philadelphia.
 The lawsuit alleges that the defendants have concealed information concerning the dangers of chemical emissions from carpeting and misled the public by distributing assurances that carpeting is environmentally safe.
 The lawsuit states that carpeting manufactured and sold by the defendants contains toxic chemicals, including benzene, styrene and "4- PC" which are emitted after the carpeting is installed. The complaint alleges that these chemicals have caused personal injuries and property damage to thousands of consumers throughout the United States.
 The suit, filed by lawyers Joseph C. Kohn of Philadelphia and Barry F. Greenberg of Bridgeport, Pa., asserts claims for breach of warranty, negligence in the manufacturing process, failure to provide adequate warnings to consumers and false advertising.
 According to Kohn, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, "The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received over 500 complaints from consumers across the country who have been injured from chemical emissions from carpets. Some families have been forced to leave their homes as a result of this problem. These consumers, and hundreds of others across the country who may have been injured, simply cannot wait any longer for corrective action by the industry."
 Greenberg, the co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, explained that the lawsuit seeks "damages, punitive damages, a medical monitoring fund for individuals suffering illnesses due to chemical exposure and court orders to require defendants to stop disseminating false information and to institute proper testing and labeling of carpeting."
 Shaw Industries is the largest manufacturer of carpeting in the United States with sales in excess of $1 billion annually. Beau Lieu is the nation's second largest manufacturer in the $8 billion per year carpeting industry.
 The problem of chemical emissions from carpeting has come under scrutiny by various branches and agencies of government recently.
 In 1992, a Senate subcommittee held hearings on the issue of chemical emissions from carpet at which consumers, scientists and industry representatives testified. In 1991, 26 state attorneys general petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission requesting that additional warnings be placed on carpeting to advise consumers of the potential hazards from chemical emissions.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/20/93
 /CONTACT: Joseph C. Kohn, 215-238-1700, or Barry F. Greenberg, 215-275-5500, both attorneys, of Kohn, Nast & Graf/


CO: Shaw Industries, Inc.; Beau Lieu of America, Inc.;
 World Carpets, Inc.; Consumer Product Safety Commission ST: Pennsylvania


IN: SU:

CC-MJ -- PH029 -- 8077 04/20/93 12:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 20, 1993
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