Petitions for writs of certiorari have been filed in the two class actions involving breach of warranty claims against the manufacturers of front-load washing machines. The actions allege that the machines were designed in a manner that fails to prevent internal mold build-up. Whirlpool Corp. v. Glaser, No. 13-431; Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Butler, No. 13-430.
The cases share a similar procedural history. In both cases, the lower appellate courts (the Sixth and Seventh Circuits) held that the claims satisfied the requirements of Rule 23 and should be certified for class treatment. Butler v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 702 F.3d 359 (7th Cir. 2012) (Posner, J.) (discussed here); In re Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products Liab. Litig., 678 F.3d 409 (6th Cir. 2012) (discussed in this blog post). The defendants filed cert. petitions in both cases, and in both, the U.S. Supreme Court entered "GVR" orders ("grant, vacate and remand") directing the lower appellate courts to reconsider their rulings in light of Comcast. (See these blog posts.) In both cases, the lower appellate courts did so, and in both cases, those courts once again held that class certification was proper. Butler v. Sears Roebuck and Co., ___ F.3d ___ (7th Cir. Aug. 22, 2013) (discussed in this blog post); In re Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products Liab. Litig., ___ F.3d ___ (6th Cir. Jul. 18, 2013) (discussed here).
The plaintiffs filed their joint opposition to the cert. petitions last Friday, December 6, 2013. This Reuters article discusses that fiing in more detail. The article quotes one of the defense attorneys as saying that he expects the two petitions to be conferenced on January 10, 2014, although neither docket indicates this.