LG countersues its rival over damaged washers

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LG countersues its rival over damaged washers

The legal dispute between LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics over broken washing machines entered another phase after LG announced that it was countersuing its competitor for fabricating evidence.

LG said on Sunday that it recently asked prosecutors to investigate whether Samsung submitted as evidence a washing machine that had been broken by its own employee.

In September, Samsung asked prosecutors to investigate LG executives for deliberately vandalizing its washing machines that were on display in stores in Germany. Samsung claimed that LG Electronics President Jo Seong-jin, who heads the home appliance division, had caused the damage, just days before the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

Samsung said in early September that LG employees were breaking the doors of its Crystal Blue washing machines. LG immediately responded by saying that its researchers were just checking the competitor’s products and that if the company had actually intended to damage its rival’s washing machines, it would have not sent its own employees.

But now, LG has accused Samsung of deliberately damaging its own products.

“In the video footage that Samsung unveiled to the media, there is a scene where a person, who looks to be a Samsung employee, hits the washing machine many times,” the company said in a statement. “It is important to find out who has actually damaged the washing machine and whether the evidence was fabricated or not, so we hope the truth will be told through the prosecutors’ investigation.”

The affiliate of LG Group also said that Samsung only recently handed over the broken washing machine to prosecutors even though it received the appliance three months ago, which could mean that the company was deliberately concealing evidence. In addition, LG said it will sue Samsung for defamation.

Samsung said that it will actively respond to LG’s suit and insisted that Jo should comply with a summons for questioning by the prosecution. Jo, 58, has been banned from traveling overseas because of his failure to comply with the prosecutors’ investigation.

“This is a simple case that doesn’t require a lot of time because there is footage of Jo deliberately damaging our washing machine,” Samsung said in a release on Monday. “The countersuit [from LG] seems to be deliberately delaying the prosecutors’ investigation.”

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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