Butler v. Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Class Action
Case Number: 
Nos. 11-8029 & 11-8030 Cons.
Decision Date: 
August 22, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Affirmed and reversed in part and remanded
Dist. Ct. did not err in certifying for class action treatment plaintiffs’ claims that defendant’s washing machine contained defect that caused washing machine to suddenly stop. Plaintiff’s proposed class satisfied recent U.S. Supreme Ct. decision in Comcast, 133 S.Ct. 1426, since damages alleged by class members stemmed from same defect in washing machine’s control unit. Fact that damages were not identical for each class member did not preclude class action treatment. Dist. Ct. erred, though, in failing to certify proposed class action concerning defendant’s washing machines that, according to plaintiffs, caused mold to form within said machines since: (1) issue regarding whether mold actually formed in various designs of defendant’s washing machines was common throughout proposed class members; and (2) class members’ damages could be attributed to defendant’s acts that were at issue in instant lawsuit.