Settlement Reached in Class-Action Lawsuit Regarding Moldy Washers

Customers who purchased a Maytag, Kenmore, or Whirlpool front-loading washing machine between 2001 and 2010 may be eligible for up to $500 as part of a class action settlement.

WRTV Call 6, a local ABC affiliate in Indianapolis, exposed the presence of mold and other defects in front-loading washing machines back in 2013.

Ruth Ogden, who spoke with WRTV, bought a Whirlpool Duet front-loader in 2004. She said that after about a year, she started to notice a strong odor in her clean clothes.

“My son was a typical teenage slob, and we all thought the odor from him was getting into our clothes,” she said, adding that she disposed of hundreds of dollars worth of clothing.

Though Ogden spent money on products to clean her washer and even purchased a new washer as a last resort, she said that she might have difficulty getting any cash out of the settlement.

“Who saves receipts for 10 years of products to get the stink out of clothes when you didn’t even know that was causing it?” Ogden said in frustration.

Attorneys for other disgruntled customers alleged that the washers had “serious design defects” that ultimately caused mold and mildew buildup; however, Whirlpool failed to alert its customers to this risk.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, all types of mold have the potential to cause negative health effects, ranging from minor to severe, and in some cases, exposure to mold can even result in death.

Fortunately, no one has come forward with claims of serious health issues as a result of the faulty washers.

Since the start of the lawsuit, the companies in question have made design improvements to their machines. The new front-loaders have virtually eliminated the risk of mold by installing special vents that allow air to better circulate.

To officially approve the settlement, a hearing is scheduled for September 7 in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, OH.

17 Dogs Rescued From Jackson Garage This Weekend

Seventeen dogs living in “filth and misery” were rescued this weekend from a Jackson, NJ, garage, covered in urine and feces, according to the Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter.

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received an alert this weekend that dogs were being kept in “horrific conditions,” as the statement from Popcorn Park states.

“The owners of the dogs started out with just a couple of dogs but quickly became overwhelmed when they began to multiply,” the statement said.

The dogs ranged from five months old to young adults and had apparently never left the garage before being rescued this weekend.

“There was no ventilation in this garage, no windows, nowhere for the urine and feces to go, and no end in sight for these poor dogs living in such filth and misery,” the statement said.

Over time, the dogs and the garage became covered with waste. The feces had been on the dogs for so long that their fur had matted.

According to the shelter, several dogs had to be shaved down to the skin, while others required hour-long or more baths to remove all of the feces from their fur.

The shelter said the dogs’ condition was “much worse” than the dogs rescued from the Howell hoarding case earlier in the month.

More than 200 dogs were rescued earlier in the month from a Howell home in what authorities deemed “an extreme hoarding situation.”

In total, 276 dogs were found inside the 1880-square-foot home; some dogs were even discovered in the walls.

Fortunately, most of the dogs from the Howell case were in fair condition when they were rescued, and the very first Howell dog was adopted this past weekend.

The dogs from Jackson, however, are not currently up for adoption.

“The hard part is getting them to realize that they are safe and cared for, and that they have nothing to be afraid of. Right now they are still quite terrified and can barely handle being touched,” the statement said.

Over 90% of pet owners say that their pet brings a smile to their face more than once a day. The hope is that soon, these lovable dogs will be rehabilitated and doing the same in their new homes.