Court Denies Whirlpool’s Partial Motion To Dismiss In Whirlpool Front-Loader Litigation

On September 15, 2010, the Honorable James S. Gwin issued a decision denying Whirlpool’s partial Motion to Dismiss certain claims in Plaintiffs’ Third Amended Complaint. The case, captioned In re: Whirlpool Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation, No. 08-65000, is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The case alleges that certain Whirlpool washing machines contain a design defect that causes the machines to accumulate mold, which results in unpleasant odors and laundry that is not clean. Plaintiffs allege, among other things, that Whirlpool’s representations that the washing machines were “High Efficiency” and “ENERGY STAR” compliant gave rise to a duty to disclose the need to run extra cycles of hot water and other cleaning products to combat mold problems in the machines. The Court held that Plaintiffs’ Complaint adequately states a claim for fraud with respect to both Whirlpool’s representations regarding High Efficiency and ENERGY STAR compliance. As a result, Plaintiffs’ fraud claims will go forward.