If You Bought Electronics Such as a Portable Computer, Power Tool, Camcorder and/or Other Items Containing a Lithium Ion Cylindrical Battery Since 2000 You Could Get Money From More Than $113 Million in Settlements

04/05/2019

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

Samsung SDI Co., Ltd. and Samsung SDI America, Inc. (“SDI”); TOKIN Corporation (“TOKIN”); Toshiba Corporation (“Toshiba”); and Panasonic Corporation, Panasonic Corporation of North America, SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., and SANYO North America Corporation (“Panasonic”) (together, the “Settling Defendants”) have agreed to settlements resolving claims that they allegedly fixed the price of cylindrical Lithium-Ion Batteries.  This may have caused individuals and businesses to pay more for products that contained Lithium-Ion Cylindrical Batteries.  Including previously Court-approved settlements with LG Chem, Ltd. and LG Chem America, Inc. (“LG Chem”); Hitachi Maxell Ltd. and Maxell Corporation of America (“Hitachi Maxell”); NEC Corporation (“NEC”); and Sony Corporation, Sony Energy Devices Corporation, and Sony Electronics Inc. (“Sony”), the settlements with all Lithium-Ion Battery manufacturers now total over $113 million.

Additional information about the settlements is available at www.reversethecharge.com or by calling 1-855-730-8645.

Am I Included?

You may be included in the Class if, as a resident of the United States and during the period from January 1, 2000 through May 31, 2011, you purchased new, for your own use and not for resale, one of the following products: (i) laptop PC, notebook PC or netbook computer; (ii) mobile phone, smart phone, tablet, digital audio player or camera; (iii) camcorder; (iv) power tool; or (v) replacement battery for any of these products.  The product must have been purchased from someone other than the Lithium-Ion Battery manufacturer, such as a retail store.

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 a Court-approved plan of allocation. 

SDI, TOKIN, Toshiba, and Panasonic Settlements:  The claim form will allow Class Members to state the number of devices they purchased that are subject to the settlement.  Every Class Member who files a valid claim will receive money based on the number of qualifying devices purchased and the Class Member’s state of residence. The amount available for distribution will be affected by any awards made by the Court against the funds for attorneys’ fees, reimbursement of costs, or service awards for the Class representatives.  How much each Class Member receives will also depend on the number of claims made and a balancing of the cost of distribution with the amount to be distributed to each Class Member. 

Any remaining balance after the Settlement Funds are distributed will be redistributed to Class Members or, if redistribution is too costly compared with the amount of the remaining balance, such funds will escheat to federal or state governments. 

LG Chem, Hitachi Maxell, NEC, and Sony Settlements:  Notice was provided about settlements reached with LG Chem, Hitachi Maxell, and NEC for $44.95 million, and with Sony for $19.5 million.  If you already made a claim on these settlements you do not need to make a new claim on the SDI, TOKIN, Toshiba, and Panasonic settlements.  Your old claim will be automatically applied to the new settlements.  If you have not yet made a claim on these settlements, you may do so now via the same process.  These settlements do not differentiate between people who live in different states.  Everyone who submits a valid claim will receive the same amount per device. 

Although the Court granted final approval to settlements with LG Chem, Hitachi Maxell, NEC, and Sony, approval of the settlements is currently being appealed, and claims cannot be paid until the appeals are resolved.  If there is any balance remaining following distribution of the funds in those settlements to Class Members and money is not able to be reasonably redistributed to Class Members, remaining funds will escheat to federal or state governments. 

In both settlements, no money will return to the Settling Defendants once the Court finally approves the settlements.  To make a claim and receive payment, you need to file a valid claim form online or by mail by July 19, 2019.  The simple claim form only takes 3-5 minutes for most individuals to complete.  Claims may be submitted online at www.reversethecharge.com or by mail to Lithium Batteries Indirect Purchaser Settlements, c/o Epiq, P.O. Box 10194, Dublin, OH 43017-3194.  The same products are not covered by all of the settlements, so filling out the claim form as accurately and completely as possible helps ensure that you receive your correct share of the settlements.

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 May 28, 2019.  If you stay in the Class, you may object to the settlements with Settling Defendants in writing by May 28, 2019.  The settlements, along with details on how to exclude yourself from or object to settlements with Settling Defendants, are available at www.reversethecharge.com

The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 2:00 p.m. on July 16, 2019, at the United States Courthouse, 1301 Clay Street, Courtroom 1, 4th Floor, Oakland, CA  94612, to consider whether to approve the settlements.  Class Counsel will also request at the hearing attorneys’ fees of up to 30% plus interest of the total settlement funds (inclusive of all settlements to date), plus reimbursement of costs and expenses, for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the settlements.  Class Counsel also will request service awards for Class representatives, in the amount of $10,000 for each individual Class representative and $25,000 for each governmental entity Class representative, for the work they have undertaken on behalf of the Class.  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.

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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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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.