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PW Maytag Oven Class Action Lawsuit to Proceed

Sep 2, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

A class lawsuit claiming Maytag sold defective gas ovens filed by Parker Waichman LLP on behalf of New York man will go forward, after a federal judge partially denied a defense motion to dismiss the suit.

The lawsuit stems from a Maytag gas oven purchased by Gary Woods in 2005 from Plesser's M.S.H. Inc., a Babylon, New York, department store.  According to the original complaint, which was filed on December 10, 2009, a malfunction occurred in February 2008 that caused the oven to explode.  Woods alleged that the oven's igniter was defective and that Maytag knew of and intentionally concealed the oven's defect.

In an order dated November 2, 2010, Judge Arthur D. Spatt of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, granted a defense motion to dismiss the original complaint.  He dismissed the plaintiff's claims of breach of implied warranty with prejudice, finding they were time barred.  However, Judge Spratt dismissed the lawsuit's fraudulent inducement and fraudulent concealment claims with leave to amend.

On November 10, 2010, Woods did file an amended complaint, this time charging Maytag Co., Maytag Sales Co. and Plesser's with fraudulent concealment and fraudulent misrepresentation, as well as violation of Section 349 of the New York General Business Law (GBL), which declares that "deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade, or commerce, or in the furnishing of any service" are unlawful in New York. 

In December the defendants gain filed a motion with the Eastern District of New York to dismiss the amended claim in its entirety. In an order dated August 31, 2011, did dismiss, with prejudice, the lawsuit's fraudulent misrepresentation claims against the Maytag defendants, as well as the fraudulent concealment and GBL Section 349 claims against Plesser's. 

Judge Spatt denied the defense motion to dismiss  a claim of  fraudulent concealment against  Maytag Co. and Maytag Sales Co, writing that  he disagreed with the defense contention that Woods "had not sufficiently alleged that (1) Maytag had knowledge of the alleged defects; and (2) any failure to disclose was done with the requisite intent to defraud."  Judge Spatt also allowed the plaintiff to proceed with his GBL claim against the Maytag defendants, writing  that Woods plausibly alleged that they "had knowledge of the purported defect and failed to disclose that information for the purposes of fraudulent concealment," thus satisfying the pleading requirement for a claim under Section 349 of the GBL.

Finally, he allowed the fraudulent misrepresentation claim against Plesser's to go forward, writing the amended complaint "sufficiently alleged facts that meet the heightened pleading requirements for fraudulent misrepresentation, made with the requisite scienter, which the Plaintiff reasonably relied upon to his detriment."

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