Supreme Court won’t hear consumer case against Sears

High court sends suit back to lower court in light of its Comcast ruling in March

It’s a tough break for Sears customers who found themselves saddled with what they claim is a bum washing machine.

Today, the Supreme Court struck down a ruling made by an appeals court that decided in favor of customers who bought front load washing machines from Sears Roebuck and Co.’s subsidiary Whirlpool Corp. In their suit, the customers claimed the Kenmore-brand machines emitted unpleasant odors and occasionally stopped during use unexpectedly.

This case is virtually identical to a class action case the Supreme Court sent back to a lower court earlier this year for reconsideration. That suit was against Whirlpool rather than Sears but involved the same plaintiffs’ counsel.

In today’s ruling, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court, calling on it to take another look in light of the high court’s recent ruling in a recent Comcast suit. The legal issue in that case as well as this one is whether claims are sufficiently similar to warrant class action status.

Read more recent Supreme Court stories and columns on InsideCounsel:

Think twice before calling the Supreme Court “pro-business”

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Supreme Court to rule on whether CAFA applies to state attorneys general

Supreme Court shoots down a popular class action litigation tactic

 

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Cathleen Flahardy

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