WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 8, 2017, a United States District Court judge ordered that General Electric Company ("GE") could no longer conceal consumer complaints of microwave glass doors spontaneously exploding. The Court also granted class certification in the ongoing lawsuit against GE brought by the class action law firms Tycko & Zavareei LLP and Izard, Kindall, & Raabe LLP.
The case alleges that certain GE-branded microwave ovens that are manufactured by Samsung (model numbers JVM1540, JEB1095, ZMC1090, and ZMC1095) suffer from a dangerous design defect that has the potential to cause personal injury and which GE has known about since at least as early as 2001. According to Plaintiffs' counsel, Hassan Zavareei, "the lawsuit alleges that GE deliberately and fraudulently concealed this dangerous design defect from consumers, the public, and third party regulators."
Plaintiffs' motion for class certification cites to evidence from GE's own files that reveals GE knew about what it referred to as the "door glass-shattering problem" and associated injuries with these microwaves as early as 2001, but explains that GE never issued any recall or even a warning to consumers who already had these ticking time-bombs in their homes.
Plaintiffs also submitted expert analysis from a Professor of Statistics at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, who concluded that the GE microwaves at issue in the lawsuit have a glass breakage failure rate 1000 times higher than all other GE microwave models.
Plaintiffs' motion for class certification also points to evidence of GE lying to consumers, the media, and regulators about this high rate of spontaneous glass breakage, claiming that the failure was "rare" and purposefully omitting the known cause, while misleadingly stating that its microwaves "have an excellent safety record" and suggesting that glass is inherently fragile and thus "can break" at any time.
According to GE's own files, GE has continued to receive reports of these microwaves spontaneously exploding in consumers' homes while the litigation has been pending. Another attorney for Plaintiffs, Anna Haac, explains that "The Court's orders unsealing these consumer incident reports and granting class certification are critically important because they ensure consumers and regulators for the first time will have access to this important safety information and will be able to collectively hold GE accountable." The orders thus serve as an important check on corporate wrongdoing at a time when many corporations and politicians are trying to limit consumers' access to the courts and eliminate class actions altogether. Explains attorney Haac, "We all hope and expect companies will do the right thing, but when they don't, class actions are often the only tool consumers have to enforce their rights. Without class actions, important cases like this one would not be brought."
The lawsuit is captioned Harkey v. General Electric Co., and was filed in federal court in the District of Connecticut. Plaintiff is represented by the Washington, D.C. law firm of Tycko & Zavareei LLP, and Izard Nobel LLP of West Hartford, Connecticut. A copy of the Court's opinions can be downloaded from the Tycko & Zavareei LLP website, www.tzlegal.com.
SOURCE Tycko & Zavareei LLP