SANTA ANA, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - Lenovo Inc. has agreed to a settlement in a class action lawsuit against it for its allegedly defective Wi-Fi capability on the Lenovo Ultrabook computer.
In June, the plaintiffs and Lenovo reached an agreement to resolve the claims of all consumers who purchased the computers, according to District Judge Cormac J. Carney's Sept. 15 settlement order.
"Having reviewed the settlement agreement, the proposed class notice, the proposed notice and claim forms, plaintiffs’ motion and memorandum in support thereof, and the supporting declaration and documentation, the court finds that plaintiffs have made a sufficient showing that the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 are satisfied and the terms of the settlement are likely to be fair, adequate, and reasonable," Carney's order states.
In exchange for the class members’ release of all claims against Lenovo, the settlement agreement provides repair to the wireless capability of class members' Lenovo Ultrabook computer; a cash refund in the amount of $100 paid by Lenovo; or a $250 credit certificate issued by Lenovo toward the purchase of any product listed for sale on www.lenovo.com.
"To receive any of these benefits, class members must submit a claim form and settlement declaration, along with 'a sales receipt, credit card or other account statement, shipping manifest, purchase order or other similar documentation evidencing purchase of' a class computer," the order states.
Class members have one year to claim benefits under the settlement agreement.
Garrett Kacsuta and Michael Wheeler filed the lawsuit on Feb. 21, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Kacsuta and Wheeler claimed Lenovo knowingly sold defective Lenovo Ideapad U310 and U410 "U Series" computers, which were marketed as "ideal for any and all mobile needs."
The alleged design defect severely limited the ability of the computers to connect to Wi-Fi networks or attain Wi-Fi reception speeds sufficient to engage in their intended mobile computing purposes.
The plaintiffs claimed Lenovo violated of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, the Unfair Competition Law and the District of Columbia Consumer Protection and Procedures Act, as well as violating its breach of express warranty and breach of implied warranty of merchantability.
Class members who elect the first option are entitled to a one-year extension of an existing warranty or a one-year renewal of an expired warranty for any Wi-Fi related issue.
"The entire cost of repair, including the costs for insured shipping of the class computer to Lenovo and return to the class member will be paid for exclusively by Lenovo," the document states. "This component of the settlement is valued at $49,385,000."
Class Members who elect either the second or third option will have their original warranty extended for a period of 120 days from the date of final approval of the settlement or, if the original warranty has expired, a renewed warranty for a 120-day period.
The $250 credit certificate is transferable within the immediate family, can be combined with any other credit, voucher, coupon, sale or discount, and will expire no less than two years after issuance.
The cash and credit certificate component of the settlement agreement is valued at as much as $20.75 million. Class members who elect either second or third option may also receive reimbursement for 100 percent of previously incurred out-of-pocket expenses associated with repair of their class computer upon submission of "satisfactory documentation evidencing such out-of-pocket expenses."
Class counsel will receive attorneys fees in the amount of $8,889,300 and litigation expenses in the amount of $300,000.
The named plaintiffs will each receive a $2,500 reimbursement award.
The plaintiffs are represented by Paul R. Kiesel ofKiesel & Larson LLP; and Paul O. Paradis, Gina M. Tufaro and Mark A. Butler of Horwitz, Horwitz & Paradis.
Lenovo is represented by Allan Gabriel and Daniel Stephenson of Dykema Gossett LLP and Vivian S. Lee of Stubbs Alderton and Markiles LLP.
A final fairness and approval hearing will be held on Dec. 15.
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: 8:13-cv-00316
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