Ohio Jury Finds Whirlpool Not Liable For Moldy Front-Loading Washers

Image courtesy of (CrzysChick)

For the last six years, appliance-maker Whirlpool has fought the prospect of class action lawsuits filed by the owners of early front-loading high-efficiency washing machines. When the Supreme Court declined to hear Whirlpool’s case for the second time earlier this year, actual suits could go forward. The case on behalf of Whirlpool washer owners in Ohio went to trial this month, and a jury found the company not liable.


The trial lasted for three weeks, and the jury found that the appliance-maker wasn’t liable for defective product design or breach of implied warranty. If Whirlpool and other companies continue to fight the lawsuits instead of settling out of court, there will be dozens more trials like this in federal courts across the country.

One of the attorneys representing the Ohio plaintiffs says that they will not give in. “Until Whirlpool takes responsibility for selling defective washers, the fight will continue,” he told Reuters.

Whirlpool has fought these particular lawsuits for years. The legal question was whether these particular customers have the right to band together as a class and sue in a class action, or whether their cases are so different that they should be required to each file separate lawsuits against the appliance manufacturers. (These questions also affected similar class actions against Sears and Bosch.)

Whirlpool wins first trial over ‘moldy’ washers [Reuters]
Original complaint from 2008 [PDF]
Verdict Sheet [PDF]

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