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Famular v. Whirlpool Corp.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

March 18, 2019, Decided; March 19, 2019, Filed

16 CV 944 (VB)

Opinion

OPINION AND ORDER

Briccetti, J.:

Plaintiff Walt Famular, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, brings this action against defendant Whirlpool Corporation for allegedly misrepresenting the water and energy efficiency of three models in Whirlpool's Maytag Centennial line of washing machines. Plaintiff brings state law claims for breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, and violations of New York's General Business Law ("GBL") Sections 349 and 350.

Now pending is plaintiff's motion for class certification. (Doc. #89). For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

Also pending are defendant's motions [*2]  (i) to exclude the opinions of plaintiff's experts Dr. J. Michael Dennis and Dr. Ramamirtham Sukumar (Doc. #100); (ii) to strike certain opinions offered by plaintiff's expert Dr. Colin Weir (Doc. #103); and (iii) for reconsideration of the Court's January 19, 2017 Opinion and Order (Doc. #113). The motions to exclude or strike the opinions of plaintiff's experts are DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, and the motion for reconsideration is DENIED, for the reasons set forth below.

The Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d).

BACKGROUND

This case arises from the purchase of Whirlpool's Maytag Centennial line of residential washing machines, with model numbers MVWC6ESWW1, MVWC6ESWW0, and MVWC7ESWW0 (the "allegedly mislabeled washing machines") in New York from 2009 to the present.1 The allegedly mislabeled washing machines were marketed as ENERGY STAR® compliant and displayed the ENERGY STAR® label. Plaintiff purchased an allegedly mislabeled washing machine in 2010.

The ENERGY STAR® program is administered by the United States Department of Energy and the United States Environmental Protection Agency and is intended "to identify and promote energy-efficient [*3]  products . . . to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduce pollution through voluntary labeling of, or other forms of communication about, products . . . that meet the highest energy conservation standards." 42 U.S.C. § 6294a. To that end, to qualify for the ENERGY STAR® program, residential washing machines must meet energy- and water-efficiency criteria, using approximately 37% less energy and 50% less water than standard models.

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44907 *; 2019 WL 1254882

WALT FAMULAR, individually and on behalf of all others similar situated, Plaintiffs, v. WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION, Defendant.

Prior History: Famular v. Whirlpool Corp., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8265 (S.D.N.Y., Jan. 19, 2017)

CORE TERMS

ENERGY, washing machine, premium, proposed class member, mislabeled, damages, predominate, proposed class, class certification, common question, plaintiff's claim, class action, label, class member, classwide, consumers, defendant argues, ascertainability, individualized, calculation, misleading, logo, theory of liability, express warranty, certification, answered, products, unjust enrichment, reconsideration, questions