Menards and Home Depot are the recent targets of lawsuits claiming that the retailers are deceiving customers into buying 4x4s that are really only 3.5 x 3.5 inches.
Now, a simple Google search, or having worked with wood on anything ever, means you'd know that these are nominal board dimensions and not actual board dimensions. Sites such as The Family Handyman note that it is typical for board thicknesses to be off by 1/2" or less, and widths to be off by 3/4" or less. You can even check the site MIStupid.com. Really.
However, the litigious will litigate, and according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, lawsuits were filed for $5 million each, for false and misleading representations.
The discrepancy comes because when the board is first cut from the log, it is a true 4x4, but the drying process and planing of the board reduce its size. As per MISTUPID.
The retailers say the allegations are bogus, and many say that it is common knowledge. However, the law firm disputes that claim. The lawsuits pretty much come down to a labeling issue, saying that the product labels should say that they are “nominal” sizes. The lawsuit from the three men who purchased the lumber is pending in a Northern Illinois court.
I’m David Mantey, and this is IEN Now.