Lieff Cabraser partner Jonathan D. Selbin recently spoke with NBC’s ConsumerMan Herb Weisbaum on Seattle’s KOMO News 1000 FM 97.7 to discuss recent settlements relating to consumer lawsuits over smelly front-loading washing machines. In the class action lawsuits, owners of front-load washers complained that their Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag, Sears, and LG-brand washing machines were defective, as the products failed to self-clean and resulted in foul-smelling bacteria, mold, and mildew build-ups.
According to Selbin, “our allegation in the litigation was really two-fold. First is that there was a design defect, a fundamental defect that was designed into every one of the washers that had to do with their inability to clean themselves, back in places in particular where consumers couldn’t see it and couldn’t clean it… The second theory really was a failure to warn theory, that Whirlpool and Sears knew that everything about these washing machines was different from the way people who’d been doing wash for their whole lives [and] you had to take additional steps.”
More than 5 million people have been affected by the Whirlpool and Sears/Kenmore product defects. After 9 years of litigation, consumers now have a chance to get some relief as the claims period continues on the Whirlpool washers case, either with cash back, repair reimbursement, or a rebate towards a new washing machine.
“We’re happy that the manufacturers have decided to take care of the problem at long last and we think it’s a great opportunity for folks to make claims,” stated Selbin.
The radio piece went on to provide information on the current claims period relating to a similar settlement for owners of LG front-load washers.
The Whirlpool case is In re: Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 1:08-WP-65000 (MDL 2001).
The LG case is In re: LG Front Load Washing Machine Class Action Litigation, Case No. 2:08-cv-00051-FSH-MAS.