Today could be your lucky day. You could be claiming at least $10USD — maybe more — from a recently settled class-action lawsuit involving DVD optical drives. That’s right. If you’ve ever owned a laptop or external DVD optical drive between April 1, 2003, and December 31, 2008, this class-action lawsuit has won you $10USD. If you happen to own multiple laptops or external drives during that time, then you’re eligible to claim those as well. Sony, NEC, Panasonic, and Hitachi-LG finally settled a class-action lawsuit that has been going on for seven years and it’s a doozie.
These fine companies were accused of working together to inflate the price of DVD optical drives sold to computer makers and retailers. When big computer makers such as Dell and HP would put out a bid for optical drives, the four companies would share their bids with each other to drive prices up. The process for making your claim is easy, just head over to Optical Disk Drive Antitrust and fill out the form. The one odd thing is they do not ask for any proof when you fill out the form, but in the terms and conditions, it does state the following.
“The Settlement Administrator has the right to request verification or more information regarding the claimed purchase(s) of Optical Disk Drive products for purposes of preventing fraud.”
I submitted my own form for several laptops I owned during that time, but I no longer have the laptops or receipts, so it’s likely I won’t be able to claim the money. We highly suggest you read the entirety of the fine print as not all states are eligible and of course, there is that receipt thing that could come back to get you.
(Note that while Panasonic DVD drives are covered, Panasonic computers are not eligible, and half the US is out: you’ll need to be a resident of Arizona, California, 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.)
As of right now, Sony, Hitachi-LG, NEC and Panasonic have contributed $124.5 million to the settlement and lawyers expect to take about a quarter of that for their trouble.
What do you think of this class-action lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.