Benjamin Moore's Odorless Paint Has Foul Smell, Lawsuit Claims
Marlene Sway claims in the suit filed this week that the paint company has broken consumer laws and lied to customers over its Natura paint that's marketed as "virtually odorless." The lawsuit seeks class-action status.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, claims the paint "emits an offensive, acute and enduring odor and remains wet and sticky for months." The lawsuit lists comments from consumers that describe the smell as "rotting fish" and a chemical odor.Benjamin Moore sent the following statement to Consumer Ally regarding the lawsuit: "Benjamin Moore is aware that a lawsuit has been filed regarding its Natura paint product and claims of odor. The company firmly stands behind Natura and its 0 VOC and virtually odorless formulation."
VOC stands for "volatile organic compounds" and are the gases or fumes given off by such products as paints, lacquers, glues and permanent markers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Something that touts itself as low VOC means it doesn't have many fumes. Exposure to VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; nausea; and damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.
Sway's lawsuit points to a product replacement notice from last summer as evidence the company "knew at the time that the product did not perform as advertised." The notice cited in the case paperwork explains that Benjamin Moore would replace old stock in stores with new paint because it made changes to the paint.
"Although Defendant knew at the time that the Product did not perform as advertised, Defendant did not inform its retail outlets of that fact," the lawsuit stated. "...Because Defendant crafted the notice to omit any reference to any problems with the Product, a retailer receiving the notice may or may not have accepted Defendant's invitation to replace the older, defective Product with replacement product."
The U.S. District Court docket showed that Benjamin Moore was served notice Tuesday, April 26, about the lawsuit.
When choosing a paint, consumers should keep in mind that quality paint is a worthwhile investment and should carefully do their research before buying any paint products.