If You Bought Electronics Containing a Lithium Ion Cylindrical Battery Such as a Laptop, Power Tool, Camcorder or a Replacement Battery, Your Legal Rights and Money Received From Settlements May Be Affected

02/11/2020

OAKLAND, Calif. – The following statement is being issued by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP regarding In re Lithium ION Batteries Antitrust Litigation.

Why Are There Settlements?

LG Chem, Ltd. and LG Chem America, Inc. (“LG Chem”), Hitachi Maxell Ltd. and Maxell Corporation of America (“Hitachi Maxell”), and NEC Corporation (“NEC”) (collectively, the “Settling Defendants”) agreed to pay $44.95 million in Settlements to resolve claims that Settling Defendants allegedly fixed the price of cylindrical Lithium-Ion Batteries, causing individuals and businesses to pay more for products like portable computers, power tools, camcorders or replacement batteries for any of these products.  A federal court previously approved the Settlements but is now reconsidering them under a revised Distribution Plan, and will also consider Class Counsel’s request to reinstate the prior awards of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses.

A more detailed notice, which includes additional information about the settlements, is available at the settlement website (www.reversethecharge.com) or by calling 1-855-730-8645.

What Is This Notice About?

This notice is to inform you about recent changes to the proposed Distribution Plan for the Settlements, extended deadlines to exclude yourself from the Settlements or to object to the Settlements, and Class Counsel’s renewed request for attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses, before the Court decides whether to finally approve the Settlements with Settling Defendants and the revised Distribution Plan.

Am I Included?

The Class includes all persons and entities who, as residents of the United States and during the period from January 1, 2000 through May 31, 2011, indirectly purchased new for their own use and not for resale one of the following products which contained a lithium-ion cylindrical battery manufactured by one or more Defendants in this lawsuit or their co-conspirators: (i) a portable computer; (ii) a power tool; (iii) a camcorder; or (iv) a replacement battery for any of these products. “Indirectly” means the product was purchased from someone other than the manufacturer, such as a retail store.

What Do The Settlements Provide?

The Settlement Fund is $44.95 million. After deducting Court-approved attorneys’ fees, service awards, notice and administration costs, and litigation expenses, the remaining Net Settlement Fund will be divided into two funds, a Repealer Fund and a Non-Repealer Fund.  The Repealer Fund (90% of the Net Settlement Fund) will be available for distribution to Class Members who are residents of the following Repealer States: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  All other states and/or jurisdictions are “Non-Repealer” States.  The Non-Repealer Fund (10% of the Net Settlement Fund) will be available for distribution to Class Members who are residents of Non-Repealer States.  However, the plan for distributing the Settlement Funds is not final and may be changed by the Court after considering any and all objections by Class Members.  If the Court determines that further changes to the allocation of the Settlement Funds between the Repealer and Non-Repealer Fund are appropriate, those changes will be posted on the settlement website (www.reversethecharge.com), which also provides more details about the Settlements.

How Can I Get A Payment And How Much Will I Receive?

Money from all settlements in this case will be distributed together on a per-Class Member basis, but the amount you receive from each settlement will depend on the Court-approved Distribution Plan.  No money will be distributed yet.  If final approval is granted to the Settlements with Settling Defendants, Class Members who have already filed a valid and timely claim will receive cash payments.  The deadline to file a claim has already passed.  The deadline was July 19, 2019.  If you did not already file a claim, you will not receive a cash payment from the Settlements with Settling Defendants, unless you previously requested to be excluded from the settlement and successfully apply to rejoin the class as described in the Long Form Notice.

What Are My Rights?

Even if you do nothing, you will be bound by the Court’s decisions concerning these settlements. To keep your rights to sue the Settling Defendants regarding Lithium Ion Batteries, you must exclude yourself from the Class in writing by April 13, 2020.  If you stay in the Class, you may object to the settlements with Settling Defendants in writing by April 13, 2020.  The settlements, along with details on how to exclude yourself from the settlements, re-join the class, or object to the settlements with Settling Defendants, are available at the settlement website (www.reversethecharge.com).

The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, May 20, 2020, at the United States Courthouse, 1301 Clay Street, Courtroom 1, 4th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612, to consider whether to approve the settlements with the Settling Defendants.  Class Counsel may request at the hearing attorneys’ fees not to exceed 30% of the cumulative Settlement Fund of $113.45 million obtained in this case thus far, or $3,829,176, plus costs and expenses in an amount not to exceed $6,751,735.84 and service awards to the Class representatives in the amount of $10,000 each for the work they have undertaken on behalf of Plaintiffs, and for $25,000 for two government entities.  If you object, you or your own attorney may appear and speak at the hearing to comment on the settlements with Settling Defendants and/or on any request for attorneys’ fees, service awards for Class representatives, or reimbursement of costs and expenses at your own expense, but you are not required to appear.  The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the website for additional information. Please do not contact the Court about this case.  Detailed information is available at the settlement website (www.reversethecharge.com) or by calling 1-855-730-8645.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with nine offices across the country. The firm’s tenacious drive for plaintiffs’ rights has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” and MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

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Case Timeline

03/04/20: Final Settlements Reached with All Defendants

Indirect purchasers have reached $113 million in settlements with all of the defendants in the Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation. The court has given final approval to all of the settlements. The claims deadline for the $113 million in settlements has now passed.

08/17/17: Additional Settlements Reached

Indirect purchasers have reached settlements with the LG, Hitachi-Maxell and NEC defendants, for a total of $44.95 million. The claims period for these settlements will end on Nov. 29, 2017. Go to https://www.reversethecharge.com/ to make a claim now. 

04/10/16: Motion for Preliminary Settlement Approval

Indirect purchasers have reached a settlement with the Sony defendants and filed their motion for preliminary approval in April 2016.

01/16/16: Motion for Class Certification

In January 2016, IPPs moved for certification of a class of all persons and entities who indirectly purchased a cylindrical lithium-ion battery manufactured by the defendants. This includes: (i) a portable computer, (ii) a power tool, (iii) a camcorder, or (iv) a replacement battery for any of these products. The class period extends from January 1, 2000 through May 31, 2011.

10/22/14: Amended Complaint

Hagens Berman files amended complaint, which includes plaintiffs from Hawaii. Download amended complaint.

10/02/14: Motion to Dismiss Denied

Judge Gonzalez Rogers denied, in part, defendants’ Motions to Dismiss the Second Consolidated Amended Complaints of Direct and Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs, permitting IPPs to pursue their case against named-defendants.