Whirlpool–Front Loading Washing Machines
On August 16, 2012, Justice Perell denied certification in the Whirlpool class action. This means that the lawsuit can not proceed as a class action. The plaintiffs are appealing Justice Perell’s decision and will provide further information regarding the date of the appeal as soon as it is available.
Please note that the certification motion in this class action, previously scheduled for late February 2012, has been adjourned. The motion will now be heard on July 24, 25 and 26, 2012.
Have you experienced foul odours from your Whirlpool Front-Loader Washing Machine?
If the Answer is “Yes”, then your Whirlpool Front-Loader may suffer from a design and/or manufacturing defect that may contribute to the formation of mould and mildew on the inside of the machine. The build up of mould and mildew may produce foul and noxious odours.
Which Front-Loaders are affected?
To date the machines that suffer from this problem include the Whirlpool Duet, Duet Sport, Whirlpool Duet HT, and Kenmore HE front-loading washing machines purchased from 2001 to 2008.
What is being done to address this?
The Toronto law firm of Stevensons LLP, together with other leading Canadian firms, has commenced a national class action lawsuit on behalf of persons in Canada who purchased a Whirlpool Duet, Duet Sport, Whirlpool Duet HT, or Kenmore HE front-loading washing machine from 2001 to 2008 which have had problems with mould, mildew, or related odour problems. The Class Action seeks compensation from the distributors and manufacturers of affected machines, naming both Whirlpool USA and its affiliate Whirlpool Canada Inc. as defendants in the Canadian lawsuit.
What can you do?
To determine whether your machine may be eligible for this class action lawsuit and to ensure your future eligibility, please do the following:
• Print out and complete our Questionnaire or complete the form below.
• Ensure that you keep all receipts and manuals in your possession related to the machine and/or any problems arising from it (such as repairs, replacement items and purchases of “Affresh”).
• If you are considering getting a new washing machine and you intend to dispose of your old machine, please contact us.
• If you are considering trading-in your machine for a replacement, please ensure that you keep the bill of sale and ask for a record of the value received for your trade-in.
Certain Whirlpool Front-Loaders have an inherent propensity to build up “scrud” (which is a mixture of sludge, soils, mould or fungi and mildew) on the interior surfaces. This occurs because they have not been designed properly to direct water to clean all the surfaces exposed to the water, soap, softener, and dirt and debris and to provide air circulation to allow these surfaces to dry once a wash has ended. These Whirlpool Front-Loaders have inappropriately deep cavities and ribs on exposed surfaces which increase the surface and pooling areas upon which growth of scrud can occur. This prevents water, soap, softener, dirt and debris from being flushed during washing or cleaning cycles and also allows and promotes corrosion on key parts.
As a result of these manufacturing defects, class members may have incurred unexpected out-of-pocket expenses to service and replace parts on their Whirlpool Front-Loaders. Foul smelling clothing, towels and linen may have been discarded. Class members may have experienced skin problems as a result of fungi contaminated clothing. Mould can also cause symptoms that include nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation, fever, and shortness of breath.
Knowing of the scrud problems, the defendants manufactured, marketed and distributed a front-loading washing machine cleaner in tablet form, to be used in cleaning cycles, called “Affresh”, and have marketed it as a solution for washer odour and residue. This product has generated additional revenues for the defendants and has allowed them to benefit further from their own design defects at the expense of the potential class.
The statement of claim was issued in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on June 10, 2010 , with similar actions in other provinces. The claim alleges, among other things, that the defendants were aware that these machines were experiencing scrud problems due to design deficiencies and that such problems were occurring with unreasonable frequency and were resulting in considerable expense and inconvenience to owners of the Whirlpool Front-Loaders.
The certification motion in this class action has been adjourned to July 24, 25 and 26, 2012 to allow further expert evidence to be filed.