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Front-loading washing machine Courtesy photo

A federal appeals court has slashed plaintiffs’ attorney fees by nearly half in a class action settlement over defective washing machines — but the firms could have taken a bigger hit. A much bigger hit.

Monday’s opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reduced the fees in a 2015 settlement from $4.8 million to $2.7 million. The suit alleged that front-loading washing machines made by Whirlpool Corp. and sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. from 2004 to 2006 had a defect in their central control units and grew mold inside them. Sears estimated that the settlement, which resolved just the claims over the control units in Kenmore and Whirlpool brands, was worth about $900,000.

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Amanda Bronstad

Amanda Bronstad is the ALM staff reporter covering class actions and mass torts nationwide. She writes the email dispatch Critical Mass. She is based in Los Angeles.

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