A new and ingenious way of making big bucks from the laptop computer industry was thought of by a personal injury lawyer in Spring, TX. A phantom class action lawsuit can be filed against a company because of a nonexistent problem. This is not a laughing matter, especially if you are in the market for a laptop computer. Price increases are a possibility now that similar lawsuits have been filed against other companies as well.
There is a lawyer who not only helped Texas against a tobacco company but also managed to extract a settlement from a Japanese appliance maker amounting to $2 billion. This company decided to pay settlement than to fight the lawsuit in court because of the greater risk involved.
The settlement allowed him and a handful of lawyers to make $147 million in contingency fees. Also, the company agreed on giving cash rebates and discount coupons to the millions of buyers of their notebook computers the past years. Filed last March, the lawsuit was brought by two plaintiffs who owned laptops.
The men said that there was a mistake in the laptop’s design that could put the data of the computer at risk of getting lost. None of these damages which the men claimed could be caused by the flaw were even suffered by the men themselves.
The chip manufacturer stated that it had not once received any complaint from consumers regarding this alleged defect in the technology. No complaints at all were made by the computer maker’s customers until last March when the lawsuit was filed. Extensive laboratory tests run by the company showed no loss of data which can be attributed to the flaw.
The Japanese company would have lost more than $9 billion if they did not win the jury trial. How the company decided not to fight against the lawsuit even though it was a defensible case was like tossing meat soaked with blood into the Gulf of Mexico. Before the disappearance of the sound of the splash, the sharks were already moving in. Personal injury lawyers did the same thing, filing copycat lawsuits against five computer manufacturers who may have used the NEC floppy control chip.
They are not related businesses, but they are being thrown lawsuits left and right. Situations may become even worse. A New York financial analyst is predicting personal computer costs to go up as a result of these billion dollar settlements. For two decades, the United States has been enjoying prosperity because of a low inflation rate that has been partly caused by falling computer prices.
For a few hundred dollars, it is possible to buy low priced yet efficient computers that work better than those that cost $5,000 two decades ago. If the most avaricious elements of the plaintiffs bar manage to bully other laptop manufacturers into submission as they did this Japanese manufacturer, computer prices are likely to skyrocket. This would be regarded as bad news by those struggling to make ends meet.