Frequently Asked Questions
1 - What is this lawsuit about?
2 - Why is this a class action?
3 - Who is a member of the Class?
4 - What should I do if I’m still not sure whether I am included?
5 - Who represents the class?
6 - How will the lawyers be paid?
7 - What are the Plaintiffs asking for?
8 - Is there any money available now?
9 - What happens if I do nothing?
10 - What if I don’t want to be in the Class?
11 - When and where will the trial take place?
12 - Will I get money after the trial?
13 - How do I get more information?
1. What is this lawsuit about?
You could be affected by a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool involving Whirlpool Duet®, Duet HT®, and Duet Sport® Front-Loading Automatic Washers (the “Washers”). This lawsuit has been “certified” as a Class Action which means that the lawsuit meets the requirements for class actions and may proceed to trial. If you are included, you may have legal rights and options before the Court decides whether the claims being made against Whirlpool are correct. The questions on this page explain all of these things.
Judge Christopher A. Boyko, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, is currently overseeing this case. The case is known as Glazer v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 1:08-WP-65000, MDL 2001. The people who sued are called the Plaintiffs. Whirlpool Corporation (“Whirlpool”) is the Defendant.
This is not about personal injuries, wrongful death, or emotional distress. The lawsuit claims that the Washers have a design defect that causes the machines to accumulate mold, resulting in unpleasant odors and ruined laundry. The lawsuit further claims that Whirlpool knew about this design defect and failed to inform customers before they bought their machines.
Whirlpool denies Plaintiffs’ claims and asserts that the Washers are not defective and that the problems alleged by the two named Plaintiffs were caused by their own failure to follow Whirlpool’s use and care instructions.
The Court has not decided whether Plaintiffs or Whirlpool is right. The lawyers for Plaintiffs will have to prove their claims in Court.
2. Why is this a class action?
In a class action one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, Gina Glazer and Trina Allison) sue on behalf of a group of people who have similar legal claims. This group of people is called the “Class,” and the people in the Class are called “Class Members.” One court resolves one or more of the issues in this case for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.
3. Who is a member of the Class?
You are included in the Class if you:
Currently live in Ohio,
Bought a Whirlpool Duet®, Duet HT®, or Duet Sport® Front-Loading Automatic Washer in Ohio, and
Bought the Whirlpool Washer primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
Resellers and distributors of Washers as well as government entities are not included in this lawsuit. Additionally, Washers that were bought through Whirlpool’s Employee Purchase Program are not included.
4. What should I do if I’m still not sure whether I am included?
If you are still not sure whether you are included in the Class, you can ask for free help. You can call Class Counsel, Jonathan Selbin of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, at 1-800-254-2660 for more information.
5. Who represents the class?
The Court has appointed the law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP as lead class counsel (“Class Counsel”). Class Counsel will represent you if you remain a member of the Class (see Question 9). You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.
6. How will the lawyers be paid?
You do not have to pay Class Counsel. Class Counsel will seek an award of fees and costs from the Court, to be paid separately by Whirlpool or out of the recoveries made by Class Members, if any.
7. What are the Plaintiffs asking for?
Plaintiffs are asking for money or other benefits. They are also asking for attorneys’ fees and costs, plus interest.
8. Is there any money available now?
No money or benefits are available now because the Court has not yet decided whether Whirlpool did anything wrong, and the two sides have not settled the case. If the Class is successful at trial, you will need to present evidence that you have damages as a result of your purchase of your Washer to recover any money or other benefit from Whirlpool. This evidence could include:
Proof of Washer purchase,
Receipts showing you replaced your Washer, rented another washing machine, or used laundromat services,
Communications between Whirlpool and you regarding your Washer, and
Any other records that reflect expenses or damages you believe you had as a result of your Washer purchase and for which you have not been compensated by Whirlpool.
There is no guarantee that money or benefits will ever be obtained.
Your Rights And Options
If you are a member of the Class, you have a choice whether to remain a member of the Class and be represented by the Class Representatives and by Class Counsel or to exclude yourself. Either choice will have its consequences, which you should understand before making your decision.
9. What happens if I do nothing?
If you do nothing you will automatically remain in the Class. You will be legally bound by all Court orders (including any judgment entered for or against the Class or any future settlement) which means you won’t be able to sue, or continue to sue, Whirlpool about the legal claims in this case.
In any event, you will be notified of any proposed settlement or the result of any trial or dismissal of any claims in the lawsuit.
10. What if I don’t want to be in the Class?
If you decide not to participate in the lawsuit, you must exclude yourself from the Class. If you exclude yourself, you may choose to take no further action regarding your Washer or you may file an individual claim against Whirlpool in a separate proceeding, but you will not receive any benefit that may result from this lawsuit. You will not be bound by any Court orders and you keep your right to sue Whirlpool on your own regarding the issues in this case.
You can complete the exclusion process here. You must submit your online request for exclusion by January 7, 2013.
If you prefer to submit your exclusion by mail, you must follow this procedure:
(A) Complete the Exclusion Form available at the end of the Detailed Notice, available here.
(B) Send the Exclusion Form by First Class U.S. Mail, postage paid, to Class Counsel at the following address:
Ohio Whirlpool Exclusions
P.O. Box 2838
Faribault, MN 55021-8642
(C) Mail your Request no later than January 7, 2013.
11. When and where will the trial take place?
If the case is not dismissed or settled, Plaintiffs will have to prove their claims at a trial that will take place at the Carl B. Stokes United States Courthouse, 801 West Superior Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44113-1838. During the trial, a jury will hear all of the evidence, so that a decision can be reached about whether the Plaintiffs or Whirlpool are right about the claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiffs will win at trial.
12. Will I get money after the trial?
There is no way to know at this time. If you do not exclude yourself from the Class, and if the Plaintiffs win at trial, you will need to prove that you have damages as result of your purchase of your Washer to recover any money or other benefit from Whirlpool. If the Plaintiffs win at trial you will be notified about how and when to make your individual claim for money damages or other benefit and what your other options are at that time.
If Whirlpool wins at trial, you will not be able to make an individual claim for money damages or other benefits. Important information about the case will be posted on this website as it becomes available.
Getting More Information
13. How do I get more information?
If you have any questions concerning the matters contained in this notice, please contact Conner Griffith at 415.956.1000.
If you think you may be a member of the Class and did not receive notice by mail, please contact Class Counsel to provide a current address.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT, WHIRLPOOL, OR ANY APPLIANCE RETAILER OR DEALER FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THIS LAWSUIT.