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Court: Sears must face class suit on washer mold claims

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By Margaret Cronin Fisk C.2012 Bloomberg News
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Sears Holdings Corp. must face a group lawsuit by consumers in six states claiming the company's Kenmore-brand washers have a defect that causes mold, an appeals court said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago reversed an earlier ruling that barred consumers from pursuing their claims as a class, or group, action.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman found that the consumers couldn't pursue claims in a class action because common issues didn't predominate over individual questions of fact, a requirement of such suits. The appeals court reversed, saying the consumers' claim of a defect leading to mold and bad odors was a common issue.

The lawsuit covers breach-of-warranty complaints by consumers in six state -- California, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota and Texas.

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