Cases & Deals

Goodman defeats class certification in putative consumer class actions alleging sale of failure-prone air conditioner components

Clients Goodman Global, Inc.

Jones Day represents Goodman Global, Inc. and its affiliates, the manufacturers of central air conditioning and heating systems sold under the Goodman, Amana, and Daikin brands, in a series of putative consumer class actions. These actions have been filed across the country and, to date, seek certification of statewide classes in 16 states. Most of the cases allege that copper coils in the units in question are subject to a type of corrosion specific to copper that can cause the units to fail prematurely. Six million units were sold during the alleged class period. The units were sold with Goodman's standard parts-only warranty; labor costs to replace the coils can run from several hundred to over a thousand dollars per unit. The lawsuits claim for all class members breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, breach of applicable state consumer protection statutes, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Act, and unjust enrichment. Other air conditioner manufacturers have been sued in similar class actions, but Goodman, the market leader, has also been the leader in confronting this litigation. On August 20, 2015, the first class certification decision in the litigation issued. Judge David Carter of the Central District of California denied plaintiffs' motion for class certification against Goodman on several independent and generally applicable grounds, finding that Jones Day had presented "overwhelming evidence" against certification. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently denied plaintiffs' petition for leave to appeal under Rule 23(f). On March 14, 2016, Judge James Teilborg of the District of Arizona court delivered another decisive victory for Goodman, likewise denying plaintiffs' motion for class certification on multiple grounds. On May 11, 2016, Goodman scored its third victory when Judge Harvey Schlesinger of the Middle District of Florida not only denied Plaintiffs' motion for class certification but also excluded Plaintiffs' "leak" expert's opinions finding them unreliable. Jones Day has also obtained dismissal of 7 of the other filed cases. The parties await a decision in an additional case in which class certification briefing and argument are complete; the remaining cases will be briefed on class certification in the coming months.

McVicar v. Goodman Global, Case No. SA CV 13-1223, 2015 WL 4945730 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 20, 2015); Pastor-Richard v. Goodman Global, Case No. 2:12-cv-00268-WOB (E.D. Ky.); PB Property Mgmt. v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 3:12-cv-1366-HES (M.D. Fla.); Christiansen v. Goodman Global, Case No. 2:33-cv-00001 (D.N.J.); Gustafson v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 3:13-cv-08274-HRH (D. Ariz.); Whitaker v. Goodman Global, Case No. 5:14-cv-00302-D (E.D.N.C.); Selby v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 2:13-cv-02162-SLB (N.D. Ala.); Brown v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 1:13-cv-03169-JMC (D.S.C.); Kotsur v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 1:14-cv-01147-NS (E.D. Pa.); Siriano v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 2:14-cv-01131-GCS (S.D. Ohio); Fowler v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 2:14-cv-00968-RDP (N.D. Ala); Van Kleef v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 4:14-cv-00176-BSM (E.D. Ark.); Newsom v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 1:15-cv-00943-WTL-DKL (S.D. Ind.); Sain v. Goodman Mfg. Co., Case No. 4:16-cv-04006-SOH (W.D. Ark.); Helm v. Goodman Global, Inc., Case No. 8:13-cv-01213 (M.D. Fla.)

McVicar v. Goodman Global (C.D. Cal.); Pastor-Richard v. Goodman Global (E.D. Ky.); PB Property Mgmt. v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (M.D. Fla.); Christiansen v. Goodman Global (D.N.J.); Gustafson v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (D. Ariz.); Whitaker v. Goodman Global Co.(E.D.N.C.); Selby v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (N.D. Ala.); Brown v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (D.S.C.); Kotsur v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (E.D. Pa.); Siriano v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (S.D. Ohio); Fowler v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (N.D. Ala); Van Kleef v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (E.D. Ark.); Newsom v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (S.D. Ind.); Sain v. Goodman Mfg. Co. (W.D. Ark.); Helm v. Goodman Global, Inc. (M.D. Fla.)

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