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Moldy Laundry: 6th Circuit Affirms Class Certification In Washing Machine Action

Two named plaintiffs, after purchasing a Whirlpool Duet HT washing machine and a Duet Sport washing machine, noticed the smell of mold and mildew coming from the machines. Subsequently, they discovered mold growth on the machines. Plaintiffs claim that Whirlpool knew the machines had mold issues but failed to disclose that information upon purchase.

Plaintiff's brought suit against Whirlpool in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and move to certify their Ohio tort, warranty, and fraud claims.

Whirlpool opposed class certification saying that many changes have been made to the machines between 2002 and 2009, that the class's machines were built on different platforms and that the class involved different engineering models and years with varying consumer habits and experiences - making the question not one of common liability.

Walking through the various class action requirements, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio concluded that the prerequisites for certifying a liability class were met. The Sixth Circuit U.S. court of appeals affirmed an Ohio federal court decision to certify a liability class on July 18.

The class covers those who have bought a machine that has already developed the mold problem in addition to purchasers who have not yet experienced a mold problem.


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