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News Mar 13, 2014

Shearman & Sterling Achieves Litigation Victory for LG Electronics

Shearman & Sterling achieved a victory for its client LG Electronics (“LG”) in the Northern District of California when the court dismissed the action against LG in full, including dismissal of the warranty claims with prejudice.

LG was sued in ND Cal on a variety of warranty and consumer fraud claims arising out of the sale of allegedly defective washing machines. Plaintiff filed on behalf of a putative national and California state class of washer purchasers, and named Sears as a co-defendant. Plaintiff alleged that the washing machine vibrated violently during normal use and claimed, among other things, that LG and Sears made false representations at the time of sale about the reliability and energy efficiency of the washing machines.

Shearman & Sterling moved to dismiss the claims against LG on the grounds that the alleged representations were puffery and not actionable statements of fact, and that the plaintiff failed to adequately allege that LG breached any express or implied warranties. The firm also moved to dismiss the consumer protection claims on the basis that plaintiff had failed to plead with sufficient particularity how any of the representations at issue were false at the time of sale or that LG knew of any falsity, which was required to successfully plead a violation of the consumer protection statutes at issue. The court dismissed the action against LG in full, and granted plaintiff leave to amend the complaint only with respect to the consumer protection claims.

The Shearman & Sterling Litigation team included partner James Donato (San Francisco), who argued the motion, counsel Emily Griffen (San Francisco), associates Grace J. Lee (New York), Jason Allen (San Francisco), Tiana Peterson (San Francisco), and Kokoro Motegi (San Francisco), and case manager Shannon Dudley (San Francisco).