A Class Action lawsuit has been filed against Whirlpool in U.S. The two plaintiffs seek damages individually and together for all others that bought defective French Door Bottom Freezers. According to the complaint in the Class Action lawsuit, the plaintiff bought the fridge from a Whirlpool dealer. Later, he says that he started having a problem with the fridge as early as one week after buying it from Whirlpool. He says that when he brought the fridge home, he immediately shut it off and cleaned it, but that it did not stop freezing.
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has also launched a recall of the appliance, saying that there have been reports of injuries relating to the French Door Bottom Freezer. So far, no injuries have been reported. The company is also recalling recalled its other bottom freezer models and will update the list as soon as the details are available. Consumers who have placed orders for the recalled appliances are advised to call their suppliers or dealers to get replacement parts.
The Class Action lawsuit states that the French refrigerators contain a defect that allows hot air from the bottom of the appliance to reach the stored items. Some of the problems cited by the plaintiffs include overheating and freezing of stored food. The U.S. Department of Justice has also launched an investigation into the matter. So far, no direct links have been established as to why the refrigeration systems develop such defects. The class action lawsuit is seeking monetary compensation for the negligence of Whirlpool.
An investigation by the CPSC has allegedly found that Whirlpool is violating federal and state consumer protection laws by failing to properly warn consumers about the defects of the French Door Bottom Freezer. The Class Action lawsuit states that Whirlpool did not warn consumers of the defect of the French Door Bottom Freezer until at least one year after the recalled appliance had been sold and over half a million units had been put to use. The plaintiffs argue that Whirlpool did not take reasonable steps to correct the defect and did not compensate consumers for their pain and suffering. The U.S. District Court has scheduled a hearing for May 6, to determine whether or not Whirlpool is liable for the alleged breach of warranty. If the court concludes that the manufacturer is at fault, then Whirlpool may be liable for billions of dollars in damages.
According to the Class Action lawsuit, the French doors of the appliance are made of a combustible material known as phenol. A common description given to phenol is ‘air that is too hot to breathe.’ In the case of the French refrigerators made by Whirlpool, the phenol gas that causes the door to ignite contains several components, including an oxidizer, which is an extremely hazardous chemical. As this chemical continuously and repeatedly comes into contact with food stored in the fridge, the hazard of a faulty product such as the French door can never be eliminated. Therefore, the Class Action lawsuit asserts that Whirlpool should have warned the public about the hazards of the Phenol gas in their appliances.
There was also another class-action lawsuit involving the same defective Whirlpool refrigerator as described above in the Class Action Lawsuit. A Florida woman filed suit against Whirlpool, claiming her son died as a result of being exposed to the Phenol gas in the appliance, as he was playing with his toys in the home’s unplugged Evaporation System. The Florida woman is seeking compensatory and rehabilitation benefits for her loss. The manufacturers have been named in the suit as well, and they are said to be responsible for negligence in design, manufacture and operation of their products.