Class allegations stricken in suit alleging defective control panels in certain Whirlpool and Kenmore machines

United States District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel (Northern District of California) granted, with leave to amend, a motion to strike class allegations in a suit alleging a defect in Whirlpool-manufactured top-loading Kenmore Elite Oasis automatic washing machines (“the Machines”) that Sears marketed, advertised, distributed, warranted, and offered to repair.  Tietsworth v. Sears Roebuck and Co., et al., 2010 WL 1268093 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 31, 2010).  The alleged defect in an electronic control board causes machines to stop mid-cycle.

The Court concluded that the class was not ascertainable as defined:

[T]he putative classes alleged in paragraph 98 cannot be ascertained because they include members who have not experienced any problems with their Machines' Electronic Control Boards-or for that matter with any other part of the Machine. “Such members have no injury and no standing to sue.” Hovsepian v. Apple, Inc., No. 08-5788 JF (PVT), 2009 WL 5069144, at *6 (N.D.Cal.2009); see also Bishop, 1996 WL 33150020, at *5 (“courts have refused to certify class actions based on similar ‘tendency to fail’ theories because the purported class includes members who have suffered no injury and therefore lack standing to sue.”).

Order, at 19.

The opinion also includes an extensive discussion of pleading standards applicable to many different claims for relief predicated on failure to disclose or concealment allegations.