It’s a tough break for Sears customers who found themselves saddled with what they claim is a bum washing machine.

Today, the Supreme Court struck down a ruling made by an appeals court that decided in favor of customers who bought front load washing machines from Sears Roebuck and Co.’s subsidiary Whirlpool Corp. In their suit, the customers claimed the Kenmore-brand machines emitted unpleasant odors and occasionally stopped during use unexpectedly.

This case is virtually identical to a class action case the Supreme Court sent back to a lower court earlier this year for reconsideration. That suit was against Whirlpool rather than Sears but involved the same plaintiffs’ counsel.

In today’s ruling, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court, calling on it to take another look in light of the high court’s recent ruling in a recent Comcast suit. The legal issue in that case as well as this one is whether claims are sufficiently similar to warrant class action status.

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