A California resident, seeking to represent a nationwide class of consumers, has filed suit against the companies selling freezers that allegedly exceed legal limits on energy use in the United States. Collins v. Haier Am. Trading, LLC, No. 11-02911 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., filed June 14, 2011). The complaint cites testing undertaken by Consumer Reports magazine showing that a freezer which defendants labeled as consuming no more than 279 kilowatt-hours per year actually consumed 442 kilowatt-hours per year.

The named plaintiff claims that his damages include the cost of the freezer he purchased and what he will pay in excess energy costs over its estimated 18-year life. He claims that the putative class will exceed 100 claimants and that total damages will exceed $5 million. Alleging unjust enrichment, intentional misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment/nondisclosure, negligent misrepresentation, violation of California’s unfair competition and false advertising laws, and violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the plaintiff seeks declaratory relief; compensatory, treble and punitive damages; prejudgment interest; restitution; attorney’s fees; and costs.