Court's decisions preserve 'consumer rights' in case against Electrolux

Aaron Krause • Sep 10, 2013 at 1:07 PM

A Toledo federal district court recently issued an opinion that "helps to preserve important Ohio consumer rights," according to a press release from Sandusky law firm Murray & Murray.

In a class action lawsuit brought by Maureen Huffman, she alleged Electrolux North America Inc. ("Electrolux") produced and sold Huffman and other purchasers defective front loading washing machines.

Huffman seeks to represent a class defined as: "All residents of Ohio who purchased a front loading washing machine manufactured, sold and/or distributed by defendant and purchased for primarily personal, family or household purposes in Ohio and not for resale."

The legal action against Electrolux claims that the machines do not drain properly, which causes mold and pervasive foul odors to later manifest. The case is captioned Huffman v. Electronic, N.D. Ohio. No. 3:12-cv-02681-JGC. Huffman is represented by attorney John T. Murray.

"The court's recent opinion provided two important victories for Ohio consumer rights," states a press release. "First, it denied Electrolux's argument that a class could not be certified, which was made before the plaintiff was able to obtain evidence through the discovery process. Defendant companies increasingly seek to use early motions to strike class allegations to fight consumer claims before they have been able to go through the traditional process of gathering evidence and submitting a motion to certify a class action. This opinion, like the recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a class action against Whirlpool, pushes back against these continued efforts by companies to stop consumer claims before they start.

"Second, it provided that under Ohio law, one may bring a state products liability claim without being forced to give up alternative claims. The court found consumers may bring Ohio products liability claims along with common law claims, finding that otherwise they would be denied their right to open courts under Article I, Section 16, of the Ohio Constitution."

As Electrolux's Motion to Strike was denied and its Motion to Dismiss was also denied in large part, the case will now continue into the class certification discovery phase as to all claims except for implied warranty, which the court held was barred by the limitations stated in the Electrolux product warranty.

"This case continues Murray & Murray's long tradition of fighting to protect Ohio consumer rights," the press release states.

The law firm's phone number is (419) 624-3000.

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