Yesterday, a federal jury in Cleveland ruled for Whirlpool Corp. in a warranty-based class action involving allegedly defective front-loading washing machines. As discussed in an earlier post, the case had been up and down to the Supreme Court, and given the Court’s recent class action rulings, that was it was allowed to proceed to trial was rather unexpected.
Whirlpool, according to Forbes, is claiming victory:
“This is a major victory for Whirlpool, and a complete rejection of the class-action lawyers’ attempt to enrich themselves on the backs of consumers who have never had a complaint about their front-load washing machines,” said Eric Sharon, group counsel in charge of litigation at the Benton Harbor, Mich. manufacturer.
Forbes also reports that “Whirlpool shares jumped 1.5% to a 52-week high of $171 on the news” of the verdict.
While the favorable verdict in Cleveland is certainly good news for Whirlpool, the company probably will not be able to rely on it to derail or defeat similar class action claims pending elsewhere given differences in state warranty and consumer protection laws.