EPSON SETTLES INK CTGS LAWSUIT (READ)

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EPSON SETTLES INK CTGS LAWSUIT (READ)

 user 2006-04-19 at 12:39:00 pm Views: 71
  • #15328

    Epson America to Settle Class-Action Lawsuits
    Seiko
    Epson Corp.’s Epson America unit will give consumers $45 toward the
    purchase of printers or ink cartridges to settle class-action
    lawsuits.The settlement resolves suits in California, Texas and New
    York that claimed Epson America printers would say prematurely that
    ink-jet cartridges were empty. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge gave
    preliminary approval to the settlement.Consumers will get a $45 credit
    per printer toward the purchase of products at Epson’s website. The
    total value of the settlement wasn’t disclosed. Torrance-based Epson America didn’t admit liability.

    Class Counsel and Epson America Announce Class Action Settlement
    LOS
    ANGELES, April 06– Epson America, Inc. (“Epson America”) and the law
    firms of Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP and Chitwood Harley Harnes LLP
    jointly announced today that a settlement of a class action lawsuit
    relating to Epson inkjet cartridges has been preliminarily approved by
    the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los
    Angeles. The lawsuit and settlement terms are described in full at the
    class administrator’s website, http://www.epsonsettlement.com/.
    Lead
    counsel for the class are Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP with offices in
    Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Newport Beach, California and Las Vegas,
    Nevada, and Chitwood Harley Harnes LLP, with offices in Atlanta,
    Georgia and Great Neck, New York. The class is also represented by the
    San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP, Los Angeles-based McNicholas
    & McNicholas LLP, The Ball Law Firm, LLP, and Jacobson, Russell,
    Saltz & Fingerman, LLP, and Dobrowski L.L.P of Houston, Texas.
    The
    settlement resolves lawsuits filed in California, New York and Texas
    based on various legal theories relating to the performance and other
    characteristics of Epson inkjet printer cartridges. Among other things,
    plaintiffs alleged that a substantial amount of ink remains in Epson
    inkjet cartridges when the Epson printers for which they are designed
    indicate that the cartridges are “empty,” and suspend printer
    operation. Epson America denies these allegations and maintains that an
    ink safety reserve ensures print quality and reliability. The Court has
    not ruled on these allegations but Epson America has agreed to settle
    the action.
    Under the terms of the settlement, the settlement class
    – consisting of all persons or entities located within the United
    States who purchased or otherwise acquired an Epson brand inkjet
    printer between April 8, 1999 and May 8, 2006 — will receive a $45
    per-printer credit for Epson America’s online E-Store which may be used
    to buy replacement inkjet cartridges or any other product sold at the
    E-Store. The credit will be provided automatically to every class
    member who has already registered a printer with Epson America and to
    those who register a qualifying printer within 90 days after the final
    approval of the settlement. Alternatively, class members may reject the
    credit and mail in a claim form to receive either: (a) a check from
    Epson America in the amount of $25 and a $20 credit at Epson America’s
    E-Store; or (b) a 25% discount off purchases at the Epson America
    E-Store, to a maximum discount of $100. Class members who do not wish
    to register with Epson America may also receive any of the three forms
    of alternative settlement benefits by mailing in the same claim form.
    The
    settlement does not require any changes in Epson’s printer technology,
    but Epson America will make changes to its product packaging and
    software in order to clarify that when the printer signals that a
    cartridge must be replaced a variable amount of ink remains. Epson
    America’s web site will also display language explaining why there is
    an ink safety reserve.
    Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees (the amount of
    which has not yet been determined) will be determined by the Court and
    will be paid by Epson America separate from, and in addition to, the
    other settlement benefits provided to the class.
    Gregory Keller
    said, “It is our hope that this settlement will set a new high water
    mark in consumer class actions, not only with regard to the amount of
    the benefit class members receive, but also with regard to the ease
    with which those benefits may be obtained. Printer owners who have
    registered their printers with Epson America will automatically receive
    a $45 credit to be used in the Epson E-Store. Printer owners who have
    not registered may do so under the settlement to receive their E-Store
    credit.” Added Brian Kabateck of Kabateck Brown Kellner, “The $45
    credit is simply an outstanding result for the Class. The $45 benefit
    means some Class members may obtain up to three replacement ink
    cartridges for each printer they have registered with Epson, and, in
    doing so, provides the relief that we sought in the lawsuit, to restore
    ink to customers.”
    Susan Aledort, Epson America’s Senior Counsel,
    explained, “We are pleased to have resolved these lawsuits to avoid
    costly litigation and focus on our business of providing high value
    products to professionals and consumers. We already communicate a great
    deal of information to users about the performance of Epson ink
    cartridges and welcome the opportunity provided by this settlement to
    further explain Epson’s technologies and the performance of our ink
    cartridges, including the technological reasons for the ink safety
    reserve.”
    A final approval hearing has been scheduled for August 15,
    2006, following mail and publication notice of the settlement to Class
    members.