Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Smelly Front-Loading Whirlpool, LG Washer Cases Settle

Smelly Front-Loading Whirlpool, LG Washer Cases Settle

Owners of some Whirlpool, Kenmore, and Maytag front loader washing machines, manufactured between 2001 and 2010, can now submit claims as part of a settlement of the case. As reported by Herb Weisman, NBC News’ ConsumerMan, all claims must be submitted by the October 11, 2016 deadline. A separate settlement was announced relating to similar issues in LG washers.

In the class action lawsuit, consumers of front-loading washing machines complained that their Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag, and LG-brand washers were defective, failing to self-clean and resulting in foul-smelling bacteria and mold build-up. These front-loader washers were popular among consumers who wished to “go green,” as this type of washer utilizes less water as compared to traditional top-loading washers.

According to Lieff Cabraser partner Jonathan D. Selbin, court-appointed lead counsel in the case, “The defect was in the crevices in back of the tub where water would splash, but there wasn’t enough water to clean it out. Water and dirt and soap would get up into those crevices and there was no process that would adequately clean them out.”

Owners of some Whirlpool, Kenmore, and Maytag front loader washing machines, manufactured between 2001 and 2010, can now submit claims as part of the settlement. All claims must be submitted by the October 11, 2016 deadline. In the LG case, the claims deadline is October 10, 2016.

As noted by NBC News, under the Whirlpool settlement:

• Customers who had a mold or odor problem within five years of purchase can claim $50 cash or a 20 percent cash rebate on the best-negotiated retail purchase price of certain washers or dryers made by Whirlpool.
• Those who did not have a mold problem within five years can still receive a cash rebate of five percent off their next purchase of a washer, dryer or laundry pair.
• Anyone who paid to have a moldy machine repaired within the first five years of purchase is entitled to reimbursement of those documented expenses, up to $500.

“We believe the evidence shows that [Whirlpool] knew they had a problem before they ever rolled out the first machines and they didn’t adequately resolve it,” Selbin said.

The 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.