by Phil Conner
Desperate times call for desperate lawsuits; Lawyers reach on LCD lawsuit claiming that manufacturers fixed prices on TVs, Notebooks
You cannot make a product without litigators coming after you for something. Following is a summary of what I consider destructive class-action lawsuit policy. What’s interesting is that the lawsuit is against the Defendants (manufacturers) of these products claiming that they were trying to stabilize prices. The pretense here would be that this is an anti-trust violation of free commerce. So let’s sue them for $1.1 Billion to make it right? Who wins? – the lawyers that get the settlement fee. Who loses? – the manufacturers that pay the settlement fee AND the consumer. Why the consumer? Because if the Plaintiffs win and the manufacturers pay, they will have to make up those costs somewhere. Where will they make them up? By raising prices on those products to the Consumer. The other loser is U.S. Manufacturers that export their products to the affected countries. This is the kind of international trade lawsuit that causes bad blood and trade wars as we all know these manufacturers are primarily located outside the U.S. Tariffs and retribution will hit our manufacturers in return.
This is one of those situations where an injunction against price setting is the right call – not a $1.1 Billion-I-want-to get-rich-because-I’m-the-Plaintiff-attorney-lawyer-and-they-were-wrong-lawsuit.
Here’s a summary of the press release about the suit:
“This lawsuit involves the price of thin film transistor liquid crystal display flat panels (“TFT-LCD” or “LCD”). The lawsuit claims that the Defendants conspired to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize prices of TFT-LCD Flat Panels resulting in overcharges to consumers who bought televisions, monitors and notebook computers containing the panels. The Defendants deny these allegations. The Court has not decided who is right.
The Settlements will provide almost $1.1 billion to consumers in 24 states and the District of Columbia and governmental entities in eight states that purchased televisions, monitors and notebook computers containing an LCD Flat Panel from someone other than the manufacturer of the Flat Panel. The Settlements also provide nationwide injunctive relief to stop the Defendants’ alleged behavior.
The 24 states are: AZ, AR, CA, FL, HI, IA, KS, ME, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NV, NM, NY, NC, ND, RI, SD, TN, VT, WV and WI. The Attorneys General of AR, CA, FL, MI, MO, NY, WV and WI are also participating in the case on behalf of their citizens and governmental entities. Specific class definitions are available at LCD Class dot com.”