DVD-ROM Class Action Lawsuit

How ridiculous, this showcases everything wrong with our legal system. Saw this popup on Facebook. An antitrust lawsuit to get money and give to anyone who had a computer with an optical disk drive. https://www.opticaldiskdriveantitrust.com/

... attorneys’ fees up to 25 percent of the Settlement Funds plus costs and expenses.

No proof of purchase required, so file your claim, sit back and wait for your 12-cent check in a year or two.

Hurry, August 1 deadline!
"When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

- Pablo Picasso

Comments

  • 14 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • GordonMcCombGordonMcComb Posts: 3,119
    edited July 30 Vote Up0Vote Down
    This has nothing to do with our legal system, which (IMO) is among the fairest in the world. Anyone can file a civil law suit, even if it has no merit. The "system" simply accepts the lawsuit into the dockets, and then judges or juries decide, or the parties agree to settle, as happened in these cases. (There are laws against abusing this process; e.g. vexatious litigation.)

    My wife recently got a check for over $500 as a result of a class-action suit against her past employer, who had been accused of disallowing certain types of hours on time cards (and then unilaterally altering those time cards). I don't know the merits of the optical disc case, but here, the suit was well deserved, and the payouts provided some closure, even if they didn't begin to redress the wrong.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 21,233
    edited July 30 Vote Up0Vote Down
    No 12-cent check for me, a resident of Washington State, which is not included in the settlement. Dang!

    -Phil

    BTW, another abuse of the system is venue-shopping. There are districts in Texas where juries are notorious for finding for the plaintiff in patent-infringement cases. But, IIRC, there was a recent decision that may put a stop to the practice, or at least define some limits on it.
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,414
    Most of these class action lawsuits only benefit the lawyers substantially, who will be paid in full for every hour they claim. Their $10/person estimated disbursement won't exactly save anyone from bankruptcy. Might hurt the affected manufacturers. Computers may cost $10 more next year, so it's a wash.

    The claim is "price fixing" on DVD drives. If nothing else it sends a message to manufacturers to not do that, or at least not get caught at it.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Let the lawyer have my cut, by the time they paid for postage, I will be owing them money.

    I had to pay private detective fees recently to claim a settlement on my uncle's behalf. Should have been a healthy paper trail to follow, but it had to be drug out, and time is money.

    The longer you let them hold on to it, the less you will eventually see.
  • Not to defend the lawyers (I'm not a lawyer), the notion of big pots of gold awaiting them is a fantasy. As litigants they're strictly on contingency, and many of these never go anywhere (over half are dismissed at some point), or the settlement is so small it's racked up as a loss.

    It's not true that they are paid in full for billed hours, especially these days. The amount lawyers get is up to the judge who oversees the trial (rare) or out-of-court settlement. Generally they are paid a percentage of the settlement. In any case, the big payouts are much less common than most people think.

    You're right that they serve to send a message, and for this such lawsuits are a useful tool of shaping the market without heavy additional government regulation. It's a form of checks-and-balance. There is a notion that prices are higher because of class action suits, but time again this is shown as false. Prices are first and foremost set by the market. They can't simply charge the difference and expect to grow their business. It doesn't work that way, especially for such things as computer hardware, which has become market commodities.

    As a consumer, if you want to make some money at this racket, become a named plaintiff. That's not risk-free, though.
  • The Patent Troll episode of 'Silicon Valley' came to mind when reading through this.

    There are some business that will sue another similar business just for the sake of sucking R&D dollars from the targeted company. I had seen this first hand at a company I worked at up to '15.

  • How about believing they really did conspire to fix prices and there was evidence of that? And that settlement was these companies best option?

    And yes it should not have dragged out this long, but both sides no doubt filed extension after extension, and that's where the money is.
  • I was a member of one that I think needed to be filed.

    I had a Whirlpool water heater with "FlameLock" (or something like that) technology. Supposedly made it very safe.

    Except that, to maintain the warranty, you had to have a plumber clean it out every 3 months. That's expensive. I was going to spend more in one year on this than what the thing cost in the first place.

    Not to mention that they used left-hand threads on the thermocouple fitting, so you couldn't replace the burner assembly with a standard unit.

    I found this out when the thermocouple failed. On New Year's Day. On a water heater only 2 years old. And you could only get the parts at Lowes.

    Whirlpool eventually paid for a replacement burner assembly and other parts (with the correct threading) and the labor to replace it.

    And a month later the tank started to leak...
    Tulsa, OK

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  • whicker wrote: »
    And yes it should not have dragged out this long, but both sides no doubt filed extension after extension, and that's where the money is.

    Unless the extensions generated a higher settlement, there's no benefit for the plaintiff's lawyers. They are paid a percentage of the settlement. Dragging it out costs them more, so they'd prefer to avoid it. Obviously, there's a benefit to the defense to drag it out if it means the other side is more apt to settle for a lower amount. As these larger corporations have their own salariedcounsel, or outside counsel on retainer, padding the hours is not going to make them more money.

  • ercoerco Posts: 18,414
    This is the kind of class action crap I'm talking about, Gordon. I'm researching the battery warranties on Nissan Leafs ( I want to buy that AND the Corvair while the wife's away next week)...

    from http://insideevs.com/nissan-leaf-battery-capacity-opt-warranty-denial :

    The fact that the 18,588 affected LEAF owners only received what new owners already had, while in some cases still having to deal with their diminished range cars, while the two named plaintiffs got $5,000 each, and the plaintiffs lawyers pocketed $1.9 million, didn’t sit too well and a fairly high profile objection was launched a few months later.

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Keep researching. The final settlement was for $24 million, and owners -- who paid nothing for their representation in the suit -- got a new battery if theirs was defective.

    I know what you're saying about the lawyers making money, but isn't it true anyway that those who put up the money are the ones that make it? On a suit like this, cost in salaries, expert testimony, depositions, etc. for a law firm have to amount to half a million, easy. Members of the class don't have to pay anything, so even if they get only $5 it's money they didn't have to do anything to earn.

    Forget what the lawyers made. This is how they feed their families and buy their BMWs. The over-arching result of a suit like this is Nissan will not make these same misrepresentations about its product - AND no new regulations were imposed to get the result. It was all done in civil court without the imposition of the government. Win-win for the people.
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,414
    Man, you have a snappy answer for everything! :)
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • erco wrote: »
    Man, you have a snappy answer for everything! :)

    Matches how I dress!

  • MikeDYurMikeDYur Posts: 2,175
    edited August 3 Vote Up0Vote Down
    erco wrote: »
    Man, you have a snappy answer for everything! :)

    Matches how I dress!

    Do tell.

    Fashion show anyone?
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