November 21, 2011

$23 Million LG Energy Star Refrigerator Settlement

The Problem

LG deliberately disabled the fill tube heaters and ice ejection heaters during energy efficiency testing for several models of LG’s french-door refrigerators.  Disabling these components resulted in significant underreporting of energy consumption, which was used to falsely obtain ENERGY STAR® qualified ratings.  Our client was hit with a costly double-whammy:  a higher up-front price due to the substantial price premium that ENERGY STAR® refrigerators command in the marketplace, followed by higher energy bills over the refrigerator’s useful life.

What We Did

We filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 130,000 purchasers of these mislabeled refrigerators.  This was the first lawsuit ever brought on behalf of purchasers of ENERGY STAR® appliances.  After 2 years of active litigation, we negotiated a $23 million class action settlement.

What Our Clients Got

The court awarded $5,000 apiece to our clients, Gary O’Brien, Robert Walsh, and Deborah Aschenbrenner.  The class members they represented received checks for amounts ranging from $104.79 to $179.76, depending on which refrigerator model they had purchased.