Bloomberg News

General Electric Washers Cause Moldy Odors, Lawsuit Claims

February 02, 2012

(Updates with details of complaint in third paragraph.)

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. was sued by a consumer who claims its front-loading washing machines have design defects that give a moldy and mildewy odor to clothes.

The complaint, in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, claims the washers accumulate mold and mildew caused by a failure of the machines to clean and rid themselves of byproducts of washing. It claims GE hid from consumers the need to run extra cycles of hot water or bleach to combat mold.

“Items washed in the washing machines smell foul due to the mold problems,” claims the lawsuit by Stanley Fishman of West Orange, New Jersey, seeking group, or class-action, status. “GE also fails to disclose the extraordinary maintenance and associated expenses that its washing machines require to combat the accumulation of mold, mildew and biofilm.”

Kim Freeman, a spokeswoman for General Electric, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, said the company hadn’t seen the lawsuit and couldn’t immediately comment on it. GE is the largest U.S. supplier of appliances for new homes.

The complaint, filed yesterday, claims GE violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, breached express and implied warranties, and unjustly enriched itself. It seeks unspecified compensatory damages.

The case is Fishman v. General Electric Co., 12-cv-585, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Glenn Holdcraft

To contact the reporter on this story: David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey, at dvoreacos@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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