Update on the class action lawsuit against Sony on Q006, XBR2, A2000, A2020, and A3000 models (see my Class Action Lawsuits page for additional details)
A class action lawsuit, which I consider an outrageous affront to Sony's SXRD customers, received preliminary approval by a federal court on May 21, 2010. In most cases, the settlement offers only a month or two of additional warranty coverage, and Sony can opt to provide small cash settlements in the low hundreds of dollars (representing only about 10% of the original retail prices) rather than ensuring consumers have non-defective TVs.In the case of A2020 models, the warranty extension is for an additional 6 months (through 12/2010), and the cash settlement is $200-$300, depending on size.
One plaintiff named Sabrina Cardenas from Eustace, Texas purchased an A2020 model that experienced a color anomaly. She, through her attorneys (Federman & Sherwood), is settling for all customers of all SXRD TVs, other than the previously settled XBR1 models.
Counsel for Cardenas (Federman & Sherwood) largely copied the work of other class actions that had been in progress for about a year, and Sony quickly settled with them for terms that provide little or no relief for the affected consumers, superseding the previous class actions. They also requested an injunction against any legal actions by customers pending final settlement. The group is seeking up to $625,000 in attorney fees and expenses.
Customers should start receiving Notices of the proposed class action settlement over the next several weeks, and there is apparently a Fairness Hearing for final approval scheduled on 8/13/2010 at 2 PM. Apparently, the judge insisted on certain changes to the Notices, which I have not seen yet. However, based on my understanding of the originally proposed Notice, customers have the following options (see the final Notice to Class for specific instructions, which is not yet available):
- Do nothing -- You become a member of the Class and are bound by the terms described below.
- Submit a claim form -- If you already paid for repair(s) and/or if you purchased a Sony extended service plan through Service Net Solutions after 10/1/2008 (and wish to cancel it), you can get reimbursed for the costs.
- Written objection -- Write a letter to the Court (with copies to the attorneys of Sony and Cardenas) objecting to the settlement. You will still be bound by the terms if the judge grants final approval.
- Object in person -- You can object to the settlement in person at the 8/13/2010 Fairness Hearing in New York City, if you provide the Court with a Notice of Appearance (with copies to the attorneys of Sony and Cardenas). You will still be bound by the terms if the judge grants final approval.
- Exclude yourself -- You can mail a letter to the attorneys for Cardenas to opt out of the settlement. You can then pursue your own legal action. However, you cannot raise any objections to the class action or benefit from any of its terms. In addition, Sony admits no fault in the class actions, and it is unrealistic to think that any substantial number of consumers will be able to try their own separate cases against Sony, given the need in some jurisdictions for expert witnesses, subpoenaed documents, etc.
If you do not receive a Notice, you will almost surely still be bound by the terms after final approval, so, if you do not receive the Notice in a reasonable amount of time, you should contact the Cardenas attorneys to be placed on the Class list and request one.
See my Class Action Lawsuits
page for samples of objection letters I wrote previously.