Moore & Lee Delivers Defense Victory in Multibillion-Dollar Class Action for Outdoor Products Manufacturer, Dometic Corp.
March 1, 2023
Moore & Lee is pleased to announce a decisive victory for client Dometic Corp. Dometic is a leading manufacturer and distributor of outdoor living products, operating 25 manufacturing and assembly sites in 11 countries and conducting sales in approximately 100 countries. Among the products Dometic makes and sells are gas absorption refrigerators, which are uniquely suited for use in recreational vehicles. Over six years ago, multiple putative class actions were filed against Dometic alleging that all Dometic-branded gas absorption refrigerators sold in the United States since 1997 contain a common latent defect that causes them to fail and cause fires. The allegations encompassed millions of refrigerators and sought as much as $2 billion in damages. Led by partner Erica Rutner and associates Rachel Bauer and Zack Rogers, the firm took Dometic to a decisive victory that resulted in all plaintiffs voluntarily dismissing their claims with prejudice. The cases were litigated in trial and appellate courts around the country, including in the Northern and Central Districts of California, the Southern District of Florida, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation. Throughout the course of the litigation, Dometic prevailed at nearly every turn. These victories included entry of summary judgment in one of the first-filed actions, the denial of the plaintiffs’ request for a multidistrict litigation in an unfavorable forum, the granting of Dometic’s motions to transfer and consolidate all remaining cases in Florida, the denial of class certification, and finally the complete exclusion of the plaintiffs’ damages and liability experts. On the heels of the favorable rulings excluding plaintiffs’ experts, all remaining plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss their claims with prejudice. The final dismissal order came on November 14, 2022. The case is illustrative of the firm’s growing practice and expertise in consumer class actions.