If you own an LCD screen, you may be entitled to free money

New settlements in a class-action lawsuit involving alleged price-fixing in the Canadian liquid crystal display (LCD) market means that if you own an LCD screen, you might be entitled to part of the payout.

Canadians who purchased one or more LCD products, including televisions, computer monitors, and laptop computers, between 1998 and 2006 are eligible to receive up to 2.45 per cent of the purchase price for at least two of them, according to London, Ont.-base Siskinds LLP, Vancouver-based Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP, and Quebec City-based Bouchard Pagé Tremblay.

The companies had previously secured a settlement worth $37.6 million in 2014, with Samsung Electronics Co. ($21.24 million), Innolux Corp. ($10 million), Japan Display Inc. ($3.15 million), Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. ($2 million), and Epson Imaging Devices Corp. ($1.2 million) contributing to the pool with the understanding that they were not admitting to wrongdoing or liability.

If you purchased an LCD screen during the alleged period of price-fixing, you were eligible for a payout from that suit as well.

The newest settlement, worth more than $37.4 million, adds LG ($21.2 million), AU Optronics ($11.4 million), Toshiba ($2.77 million), and HannStar ($2.1 million) to the list of companies paying consumers for conduct that, legally speaking, they did not engage in.

The deadline to apply for these settlement funds is Jan. 19. Product owners wishing to add themselves to the list of recipients can visit a website run by a court-appointed administrator and financed by the companies involved and register as either an individual or business owner.

The payout covers all LCD panels, notebooks, flat-screen computer monitors, or televisions, regardless of manufacturer or brand, purchased between 1998 and 2006, and while receipts can be submitted, none are required – individuals can register claims for up to two undocumented purchases, with the value of the item registered based on a pre-existing list ($560 for LCD panels, $1,500 for LCD televisions, $700 for LCD monitors, $2,250 for LCD notebook computers).

Claimants with purchase records can file for payouts for each LCD product purchased.

Unfortunately for readers who like their settlements straightforward, the value of each payout varies based on several factors, including the relative value of the LCD panel to the product registered and whether they’re first-time claimants.

For example, LCD panel owners who have not yet received a payout from the litigation will be compensated first, and are eligible to receive up to 2.45 per cent of their eligible LCD purchases (which are calculated based on A) the value of the LCD panels and LCD products purchased; B) the relative value of the LCD panel within an LCD product; and C) the categorization of settlement class members), according to the settlement website. If there are funds remaining after new claimants are paid 2.45% of their eligible LCD purchases, there will be a further distribution to all eligible claimants.

A Siskinds representative told ITBusiness.ca that new claimants are expected to receive a minimum payment of $20.

They also shouldn’t expect to receive anything for at least a year, according to the settlement website.

More information can be found in the site’s detailed FAQ.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we have a form to fill out.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of ITBusiness.ca turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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