Whirlpool to Congress: protect us from class actions for misleading consumers

Manufacturers of home appliances (like Whirlpool) have been sued for misusing the EPA's "Energy Star" label to suggest that products were more energy efficient than they actually were.

The industry response has been to try to get Congress to ban such suits. This quote from Shannon Baker-Branstetter of Consumers Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports) encapsulates the problem with this reponse:

“E.P.A. and D.O.E. [the Department of Energy] can’t be out there all the time,” she said. “Consumers need that backstop of the courts to get redress.” Class-action suits, she said, are appropriate in cases where “it’s lots of small injuries,” like an appliance that will use a few extra dollars’ worth of electricity every year.

The New York Times has more.


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