A group of Americans have been given approval to bring a legal case against a number of washing machine manufacturers alleging that mould which developed inside their appliances was caused by a manufacturing defect.
Two manufacturers, Bosch and Whirlpool, and department store Sears had asked the country's Supreme Court to throw out a class action case.
The machine users' complaint suggests that the manufacturers' claims that their appliances should be self-cleaning are untrue. They also say that the makers have refused to acknowledge that there is a problem, despite them complaining that, in the most extreme cases, their houses were filled with a rotten smell every time they used the machines.
The manufacturers have in turn claimed that only a "small handful of consumers" are affected, according to a report on the website Consumeraffairs.com.
The High Court rejected the companies' arguments, however, clearing the way for the case to be heard, despite them being backed by the country's Chamber of Commerce.