Plaintiff opposes dismissal of proposed Sears washing machine class action

Amelia Flood Sep. 20, 2010, 11:11am


The plaintiff who proposes to lead a Madison County class action against Sears Roebuck and Company over allegedly malfunctioning washing machines wants her case to continue.

Sears had moved to have the proposed class action led by Therese Dalla Riva dismissed, arguing the complaint fails to allege specific faults under the state's consumer fraud and deceptive business practices statutes.

Circuit Jude David Hylla is set to hear arguments on the matter Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Dalla Riva filed suit earlier this year, claiming that the company's Kenmore Elite Oasis automatic washing machines had defective electronic control boards that cause the machines to malfunction.

The plaintiff claims that she and a class of Illinois consumers were not told of the malfunction and the defective control boards when she purchased her washing machine four years ago.

Dalla Riva claims the company deliberately concealed the defect.

Sears has argued that the suit does not properly state a claim and that the plaintiff's claims are not actionable.

If the suit is not dismissed, the company has asked that the Dalla Riva case be stayed pending the outcome of a federal case in California, Tietsworth vs. Sears Roebuck and Co. and Whirlpool Corp.

Dalla Riva also opposes any stay in her case, citing the early pre-trial status of the California case.

She also claims the California case and her case are different causes of action and that Tietsworth's plaintiffs have no connection to Illinois.

Mark Goldenberg and Scott Shepherd represent Dalla Riva and the proposed class.

Stephen Strauss and others represent Sears.

The case is Madison case number 10-L-203.,/i.

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