Certification Denied for Purchasers of Product Awash with Design Differences

The Central District of California denied Plaintiff’s motion to certify a class of purchasers of Defendant’s washing machines that contain an air hose connected to an air dome.  Plaintiff alleged the connection between the hose and dome was defective and could come loose under normal operation.  As a result, the washer would overflow and cause substantial property damage or personal injury.

The court found Plaintiff failed to meet his burden of showing that the alleged defectiveness of the washers is subject to common proof.  In particular, Plaintiff failed to rebut the testimony of Defendant’s expert, who explained a number of differences among the washers included in the class that could affect whether the hose would come loose from the dome.  The court observed that it was not enough for Plaintiff to point to common components among the washer models in isolation without proving that the numerous differences were immaterial.  Furthermore, while Plaintiff suggested a longer hose would eliminate the risk of overflow in all of Defendant’s models, the court found that this alternative design still did not prove each model shared a common defect in the hose connection.

Given the numerous differences in Defendant’s washing machine models, the court concluded that Plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proving common issues in the case predominate.

Landen v. Electrolux Home Products, Inc., et al., No. 13-1033, Order Denying Motion for Class Certification (C.D. Cal. July 1, 2014)

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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