A former dealer of Collins & Aikman carpeting has filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia against Wickes Cos., the carpet manufacturer's parent, alleging breaches of warranty and violation by Collins & Aikman of federal and state law and seeking damages that would "far exceed $20 million."
The suit, filed Wednesday, is the first against Santa Monica-based Wickes since its disclosure April 15 that it had learned that an undetermined amount of Collins & Aikman carpeting sold in the last decade did not meet local flammability and smoke density codes.
The specter of lawsuits seeking millions of dollars of damages has loomed large for Wickes, which bought Collins & Aikman in January for $1.16 billion.
Edmund M. Kaufman, a Wickes director and senior partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella, said Thursday of the suit that "I'm not shocked. I always knew it was a possibility that somebody might sue."