During a span of less than two months, a group of Arkansas lawyers filed 22 class action suits in Lonoke County, Arkansas, alleging violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Here are five key items to know:
- Nine product manufacturers and 13 retailers have been sued — so far. The number of suits is growing.
- For manufacturers, the claims allege that the content of the product warranty violates the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act’s “anti-tying” provision. That provision prohibits conditioning warranty coverage on using a service or article identified by brand, trade or corporate name unless that service or article is provided under the warranty without charge.
- For retailers, the claims allege that product warranties are not being provided to customers before sale as required by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
- For every defendant, while avoiding damage claims to try to keep the cases in state court, each complaint seeks expansive injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees.
- All manufacturers and retailers of consumer products with warranties covered under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act should be on heightened alert for this new litigation. These cases are part of a nationwide trend of emerging litigation seen in a number of other states, including California, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
The consumer class action team at McGuireWoods has experience defending these class actions in Arkansas and other jurisdictions. Contact the authors for questions regarding defense of such litigation or the content or availability of your company’s warranties.