A settlement in a class-action lawsuit means you could be owed $10 for one or more PCs you either own now or have owned in the past. OK, so $10 isn’t much, but it’s better than a kick in the teeth. Especially as submitting a claim will take just a few seconds of your time.
In 2016, a number of plaintiffs brought a class-action lawsuit against virtually every company that manufactures DVD drives. They allege that these companies conspired to artificially inflate prices, breaking antitrust laws. The lawsuit is still ongoing, but, as first reported by CNET, Sony, NEC, Panasonic and Hitachi-LG have all settled, and agreed to pay $124.5 million in compensation.
This means that if you purchased a PC with a DVD drive (which are becoming rarer by the day ), or a standalone DVD drive, any time between April 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008, you’re eligible to claim $10 in compensation. You just need to file a claim online before July 1, 2017. Unfortunately, there are some caveats…
A Cavalcade of Caveats
Not only do you have to live in the United States, you’ll have to be a resident of Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin.
Other states are excluded from the class-action settlement because they have “a state law that differs materially from the federal antitrust laws.”
Then there’s the question of proving you actually purchased a DVD drive in that timeframe. Right now, you’re not being asked to provide proof of purchase, but that could change after all claims have been submitted. At that point you may have to try and find a receipt for something you bought at least seven years ago. Which would certainly exclude me.
There’s No Guarantee You’ll Receive $10
It should be noted that even if you submit a claim there’s no guarantee you’ll receive $10. This is because the amount paid for each drive could change according to the number of claims and/or which other manufacturers decide to settle. So that $10 could end up being $1.24 instead. Which isn’t even enough to pay for one month of Netflix !
Do you think you bought a qualifying PC in the timeframe covered by this settlement? Are you going to bother submitting a claim? Do you think more money should be added to the settlement pot? Or would $10 be fair? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Aotaro via Flickr