On October 20, 2014, the federal court approved the distribution of the LCD Flat Screen Settlements that were reached by Attorney General Koster, the Attorneys General of seven other states, and private counsel for a class of affected consumers. The Missouri Attorney General's Office is working with the national settlement administrator to mail payments to Missourians who filed valid claims, to be completed by early November.
Based on claims data, we estimate that more than 25,000 Missouri claimants will receive approximately $43 for each monitor and notebook and $86 for each LCD flat-screen television for which they filed claims. Altogether, Missourians are expected to recover more than $24 million. The state will also recover damages for governmental purchases and the Attorney General’s Office will recover the costs of litigation.
Anyone with questions about their claims can contact the settlement administrator, Rust Consulting, at email@example.com or call the toll-free hotline at 855-225-1886. You may also contact the Missouri Attorney General's Office at 800-392-8222.
The Missouri Attorney General's Office, as Co-Liaison Counsel for the states in the litigation, negotiated with all of the LCD manufacturers, resulting in a total of $1,082,055,647 for a settlement fund covering lawsuits filed by eight states and the private class action.
The settlements were presented to the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California for final approval. The court has now approved of all settlements, and the last appeals were dismissed on June 13, 2014.
Most of the settlement funds will be used to pay claims for restitution by Missourians and residents of the other states, including both individuals and businesses. An additional portion will be set aside for governmental damages claims also brought by the states. The Federal District Court also awarded attorneys' fees and costs to the lawyers prosecuting these cases. As a result, the state of Missouri will recover all of its litigation expenses in this case.
In addition to these settlements, the Missouri Attorney General reached separate agreements with six of the manufacturers to resolve the claims brought for civil penalties. As a result of these additional settlements, Missouri's School Fund (which receives payments of penalties and fines) has received more than $2 Million.
Missouri businesses, consumers, and governmental entities spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on computers and other electronic devices containing TFT-LCD panels, often referred to as "flat screens."
On August 17, 2010, Attorney General Koster filed suit, along with the Attorneys General of Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, against the world’s leading manufacturers of TFT-LCD panels, alleging violations of state and federal antitrust and consumer protection laws. The lawsuit sought an injunction, restitution and other relief. This case was combined with similar lawsuits filed by the Attorneys General of Florida and New York as well as a nationwide class action, and the cases were consolidated in the United States District Court for Northern District of California.
We alleged that since the late 1990s, the world’s leading manufacturers of these TFT-LCD panels were conspiring with each other to keep prices higher so they could improve their profits in a multi-billion dollar market. TFT-LCD panels are incorporated into a wide variety of products, including computer monitors, flat-screen televisions, and notebook monitors. Our litigation focused on these larger products. We alleged that the inflated prices resulting from the panel conspiracy were passed on to our citizens, businesses, and taxpayer-funded institutions when they bought electronics featuring the TFT-LCD panels.
The principle settlement-related court filings may be reviewed at the Settlement Website at www.LCDclass.com.