An Ohio jury sided with Whirlpool Corporation in a test trial from a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of 150,000 Ohio consumers. The suits covered owners of 20 models of Whirlpool front loading washing machines that allegedly trapped moisture and grew mold that smelled like a dirty sneaker. No one claimed they were injured by the smell, just that they suffered economic damages by having to periodically deodorize their washers. After a trial that lasted nearly a month, jurors took only two hours to side with the manufacturer and put asunder $66 million in damage claims. The reason Whirlpool chose to fight the suit was that while individual damage claims would be small, collectively repairing the washers could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. This was in part a test case of a number of class action claims that are pending against Whirlpool. The suit has been before the U.S. Supreme Court twice on its way to the federal courtroom in Cleveland where it was heard. More trials will follow.
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