There has been a surge of litigation against manufacturers of front-loading washing machines alleging the rubber seal on the machine retains water, allowing mildew to grow. The Sixth and Seventh Circuits have upheld class certification. See, e.g., March 2014 EWS: Litigation Update. In Brown v. Electrolux Home Products, Inc., No. 15-11455 (11th Cir. Mar. 21, 2016), the Eleventh Circuit, applying state law, reached a different conclusion than the Sixth and Seventh Circuits. It reversed the grant of certification of a similar class, finding the State consumer claims did not satisfy the predominance requirement because plaintiffs could not prove causation on a classwide basis. The California claim required plaintiffs to show that Electrolux acquired the class members’ money “by means of” its improper disclosures about the mildew problems of the machines. Plaintiff failed to prove that he, or other class members, were exposed to a uniform misrepresentation or omission that caused a loss. Likewise, the Texas claim required plaintiff to prove he relied upon a statement or omission, not simply that the defendant intended purchasers to rely. Thus, plaintiffs failed to show reliance on a classwide basis. The court also held the district court erred in certifying breach of warranty claims without addressing state law requirements of pre-suit notice, an opportunity to cure, and manifestation of the defect. The Eleventh Circuit rejected Electrolux’s argument that the class was improper because proof of damage required individual proof. This issue, and the defense of product misuse, were insufficient to preclude class certification and were to be addressed on remand.
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Certification Reversed In Washer Mildew Case As Causation Not On Class Basis
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