In a major victory for consumers, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the multi-district certification of a class of consumers alleging that their Whirlpool washers accumulate mold and mildew, leaving laundry malodorous and ruined. See Glazer v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 10-4188 (6th Cir. May 3, 2012) (order affirming certification) (available here).
After the district court granted certification, the defendant appealed, arguing that the class representatives could not demonstrate the predominance of common questions of law or fact, chiefly because the lawsuit was comprised of at least 21 different models of washers. However, the Sixth Circuit panel sided with the district court on the commonality issue.
Likewise, the Sixth Circuit rejected the defendant’s contention that the class definition was overly broad because not every class member experienced the same harm (and some class members experienced no harm, and were happy with their washers). The panel found that, so long as the challenged practice is generally applicable to the entire class, class treatment is appropriate.