Class action filed against Electrolux over ‘unhealthy’ front-load washers

A Florida couple has filed a punative class action against Electrolux Home Products, claiming defective design of washing machines made by the company results in a buildup of mold and mildew that creates foul odors, ruins clothing and poses health risks. Plaintiffs Wendy and Nicholas Grasso claim in their suit, filed in the state court in Miami, that they and other purchasers of front loading auto-matic washers marketed under the Electrolux, Frigidaire and Kenmore brands have overpaid as a result of the allegedly deceptive marketing, advertising, sales and servicing by the manufacturer. The lawsuit further alleges that Electrolux was aware of the claimed defects and has refused to provide an adequate remedy. The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages, replacement or recall of the machines and attorneys’ fees and legal costs for a class including anyone who purchased one of the company’s washing machines for personal use in Florida. The class action claims that thousands of people would be entitled to the requested remedy. The lawsuit alleges that the machines fail to drain properly or rinse away dirt, detergent and other substances, resulting in moisture and buildup of residues that contribute to the formation of mold and mildew. The resulting biofilm, which they define as a thin, usually resistant layer of microorganisms, on the inside of the machine is “unsightly and noxious,” and creates a bad smell in the user’s home and in the clothing, towels and other items run through the machine, in some cases further damaging those items. Mold and mildew can also lead to health problems, such as allergies and complications due to asthma, the lawsuit adds.Electrolux’s failure to disclose these defects or to take corrective action was negligent and violated state laws and expressed and implied warran-ties, the plaintiffs argue. The Grassos said that two years after purchasing their Frigidaire washer they noticed bad smells and black streaks on their clothing, which led to discovery of mold and mildew inside the machine. Attempts to clean the machine did not solve the problem, and Electrolux allegedly said the biofilm resulted from misuse and was not covered by the warranty. The company recommended leaving the door open after washes and wiping around the gasket, but they noted Electrolux’s own instruc-tions said to not leave the door open around young children. Electrolux has declined comment on the class action through a spokesperson. Grasso et al. vs. Electrolux Home Products Inc. (case number 2015-58-CA-01) will be heard in the Circuit Court for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida.

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