Reminder: Get $10 For Your Long-Gone Computer In Optical Drive Class Action

Image courtesy of Eric BEAUME

Did you buy a computer between April 1, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2008? Most people reading this probably did, and that makes you eligible for a class action settlement depending on which state you lived in at the time. You don’t need to still have your old computer or its serial number to file a claim in the class action.

Most class action settlements are a compromise between reasonable consumer record-keeping and preventing people who aren’t eligible from filing claims. Most lawsuits include a higher payout for class members who can produce proof, but otherwise only ask them to swear on penalty of perjury that they really did purchase the item in question.

No one saves their grocery receipts dating back seven years, after all. Yet the judge in a class action for PlayStation 3 owners rejected a settlement when she found that the proof required of plaintiffs that they owned or had installed Linux on their consoles was onerous.

The requirements to file a claim in a lawsuit against the manufacturers of optical disc drives (CD and DVD) is on the less onerous end. The lawsuit settles allegations that Panasonic, NEC, Sony, HLDS, Hitachi, and LG engaged in price-fixing for the optical disc drives that they sold to computer manufacturers. Specifically, CNET explains, they shared bid information when computer manufacturers were negotiating bulk orders of drives, keeping prices artificially high.

Those costs would have been passed on to consumers, and that’s where the lawsuit came from. That means that you, as a person who bought a computer between April 1, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2008, are eligible to file a claim. You don’t need to produce information on the computers, their serial numbers, or any receipts, because you probably don’t have any of that proof anymore.

We shared this suit as part of a roundup of class actions open for claims last year, but now the settlement has been approved. The very slow class action process is now a little closer to the phase where class members get actual checks.

Class members can receive up to $10 per computer, with no stated cap on the number of computers that they can claim. Individual awards will depend on the number of consumers who file claims, which you can do by mail or directly online.

The computer may have had an external or internal drive, which for that era of computers includes DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, and combo drives. You must swear on penalty of perjury that you really did buy that quantity of computers.

You’re eligible if at the time, you lived in:

  • 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
  • Wisconsin
  • The deadline to file your claim is July 1, 2017.

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