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Batteries au lithium

NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT APPROVAL HEARING IN THE CANADIAN LITHIUM BATTERY CLASS ACTIONS

 

TO: PERSONS IN CANADA WHO PURCHASED A LITHIUM BATTERY OR PRODUCTS CONTAINING A LITHIUM BATTERY BETWEEN JANUARY 1, 2000 AND JANUARY 1, 2012

PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY. IT MAY AFFECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.

I. WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION?

A class action is a lawsuit filed by one person on behalf of a large group of people.

II. WHAT ARE THESE CLASS ACTIONS ABOUT?

Class action lawsuits have been commenced in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec alleging that the defendants conspired to fix prices in the market for lithium-ion batteries (“LIB”) in Canada (collectively the “LIB Proceedings”). The LIB Proceedings ask that the courts require these companies to return any extra money that they may have received due to this alleged conspiracy.

III. WHAT SETTLEMENTS HAVE BEEN REACHED IN THE CLASS ACTIONS?

A settlement is when a defendant agrees to pay money to the members of the class action in exchange for being released from the case.

LG Chem, Ltd. and LG Chem America, Inc. (collectively, “LG Chem”) have agreed to settle the LIB Proceedings for USD $3,900,000 (converted to approximately CDN $5,100,000) in exchange for a full release of the claims against them relating to the alleged price-fixing of LIB.

LG Chem has also agreed to provide cooperation to the plaintiffs in pursuing the LIB Proceedings against the remaining defendants. This settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and LG Chem does not admit any liability, wrongdoing or fault.

The LG Chem settlement is subject to court approval in both Ontario and Quebec. The approval hearings will take place in the Ontario court in the city of Toronto on June 5, 2019 and in the Quebec court in the city of Montreal on July 5, 2019. The courts will decide whether the LG Chem settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interest of settlement class members.

Previous settlements have been achieved with:

  • Samsung SDI Co., Ltd. and Samsung SDI America, Inc. (“Samsung”) for USD $2,200,000; and
  • Sony Corporation, Sony Energy Devices Corporation, Sony Electronics, Inc. and Sony of Canada Ltd. (“Sony”) for CDN $4,500,000.

Those settlements have received court approval and the settlement funds are being held in trust for the benefit of settlement class members.

IV. WHO IS AFFECTED BY THE SETTLEMENTS?

The LIB Proceedings were certified or authorized as class proceedings as against LG Chem for the purposes of implementing the settlement agreement. If you are in the settlement class, you are affected by the settlement.

The LG Chem settlement class is defined as persons in Canada who purchased LIB (excluding LIB designed to be installed in vehicles) and/or the following products containing LIB: notebook or laptop computers, cellular phones including smartphones (excluding cellular phones acquired as part of a cellular phone service contract), tablet computers, e-book readers, MP3 players, personal digital assistants, handheld GPS, handheld video players and/or lithium ion battery packs, between January 1, 2000 and January 1, 2012, except the defendants and certain entities related to the defendants.

V. WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE NOW?

If you want to be a member of the LIB Proceedings, you do not need to do anything. However, there are two steps that you should take to protect your legal rights:

  1. You should keep records of any purchases of LIB and/or products containing LIB between January 1, 2000 and January 1, 2012. Records include invoices, receipts and bank statements.
  2. You should register online at www.siskinds.com/batteries/ or at www.recourscollectif.info/en/cases/batteries/ to receive updates about the LIB Proceedings.

Settlement class members who do not oppose the proposed LG Chem settlement need not appear at the settlement approval hearings or take any other action at this time.

If you want to oppose the proposed LG Chem settlement or speak to the court at the hearings listed above, you must send your written submissions to the appropriate class counsel at the addresses listed below, postmarked no later than June 25th 2019. Your written submissions must include the following:

  1. your full name, current mailing address, fax number, telephone number and email address;
  2. a brief statement of the nature or the reasons for objection;
  3. your signature or the signature of your legal agent confirming your instructions; and
  4. a statement as to whether you intend to appear at the settlement approval hearing in person or by counsel, and if by counsel, the name, address, telephone number, fax number and email address of counsel.

Class counsel will forward all such submissions to the appropriate court. All written submissions will be considered by the appropriate court. If you do not send a written submission by June 25th, 2019, you may not be entitled to participate in the settlement approval hearings.

If you want to attend the hearings, please contact class counsel for additional details.

VI. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY PAID UNDER THE SETTLEMENTS?

At this stage, the LG Chem settlement funds (minus approved fees and expenses) will be held in an interest-bearing trust account. At a later date, the courts will decide how the settlement funds will be distributed and how you can apply to receive money from the settlement. Watch for another notice explaining how to claim money from the settlement. Register online at www.siskinds.com/batteries/ or at www.recourscollectif.info/en/cases/batteries/ to ensure that you are sent this notice by email or direct mail.

VII. WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE CONTESTED LITIGATION?

In Quebec, the contested litigation is continuing against: Panasonic Corporation, Panasonic Corporation of North America, Panasonic Canada Inc., Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., and Sanyo North America Corporation. 

 The Quebec proceeding was authorized on behalf of persons resident in Quebec.

The Quebec class is defined as:

All persons who purchased, in Québec, between February 24, 2004 and September30, 2008, one or more rechargeable lithium-ion Batteries (“Batteries”) or one or more products equipped with one or more Batteries, excluding, however, Batteries to be installed in an automobile or other vehicle and vehicles equipped with such batteries.

 

VIII. WHAT IF I DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE CLASS ACTIONS?

The deadline to opt out or exclude oneself as a settlement class member in the LIB Proceedings has passed.

IX. WHO ARE THE LAWYERS WORKING ON THESE CLASS ACTIONS AND HOW ARE THEY PAID?

The law firms of Siskinds LLP and Sotos LLP represent settlement class members in Ontario, and in provinces other than British Columbia or Quebec. Siskinds LLP can be reached at:

Telephone: 1-800-461-6166 x 2286
Email: lithiumionbatteries@siskinds.com
Mail: 680 Waterloo St., London, ON N6A 3V8 Attention: Charles Wright 

Sotos LLP can be reached at:

Telephone: 416-977-0007
Email: lithiumclassaction@sotosllp.com
Mail: 180 Dundas St W #1200, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8 Attention: Jean-Marc Leclerc

The law firm of Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP represents settlement class members in British Columbia. British Columbia Class Counsel can be reached at:

Telephone: 604-689-7555
Email: LIB@cfmlawyers.ca
Mail: #400 - 856 Homer Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2W5 Attention: David Jones

The law firm of Belleau Lapointe s.e.n.c.r.l. represents Settlement Class Members in Quebec. Belleau Lapointe s.e.n.c.r.l. can be reached at:

Telephone:  514-987-6700
Email:  info@belleaulapointe.com
Mail:  300, Place d'Youville, Office B-10, Montréal, QC H2Y 2B6 Attention: Jean-Philippe Lincourt

As an individual, you do not have to pay the lawyers working on the LIB Proceedings any money. The lawyers will be paid from the money collected in the LIB Proceedings. The Ontario and Quebec courts will be asked to decide how much the lawyers will be paid. The lawyers will collectively be asking that the courts approve legal fees of up to 25% of the LG Chem settlement funds, plus disbursements and applicable taxes. Any approved legal fees will be paid out of the settlement funds. Class counsel reserve the right to ask the courts to allow class counsel to use the settlement funds to pay for any future adverse costs award or future disbursements. At a later date, class counsel will ask the courts to approve the distribution of the remaining settlement funds to settlement class members.

X. WHERE CAN I ASK MORE QUESTIONS?

For more information, please visit www.siskinds.com/batteries/ or this site. If you have questions, please contact class counsel at the numbers listed above.

To receive future notices and updates regarding the class actions and any future settlements, register online at www.siskinds.com/batteries/ or www.recourscollectif.info/en/cases/batteries/.

XI. INTERPRETATION

This notice contains a summary of some of the terms of the LG Chem settlement agreement. If there is a conflict between the provisions of this notice and the LG Chem settlement agreement, the terms of the LG Chem settlement agreement shall prevail

 

Chronology

March 2017

Filing of the Amended Demand for Authorization to Institute a Class Action

December 2015

Substitution of the original plaintiff by Option consommateurs

November 2012

Filing of the Motion for Authorization to Institute a Class Action.