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In re Lithium ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation

United States District Court, N.D. California, Oakland Division

March 20, 2017

IN RE LITHIUM ION BATTERIES ANTITRUST LITIGATION This Document Relates to: ALL INDIRECT PURCHASER ACTIONS MDL No. 2420

          ORDER GRANTING INDIRECT PURCHASER PLAINTIFFS' MOTIONS FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENTS WITH HITACHI MAXELL, NEC, AND LG CHEM DOCKET NOS. 1652, 1672

          HONORABLE YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlements with Hitachi Maxell, Ltd., Maxell Corporation of America, and NEC Corporation, and Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement with LG Chem, Ltd. and LG Chem America, Inc. (“Motions”).

         WHEREAS Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs (“IPPs”), on behalf of themselves and of the proposed stipulated settlement class (“Settlement Class”), and Defendants Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. and Maxell Corporation of America (collectively, “Hitachi Maxell”), NEC Corporation (“NEC”), and LG Chem, Ltd. and LG Chem America, Inc. (collectively, “LG Chem”), have agreed, subject to Court approval following notice to the Settlement Class and a hearing, to settle the above-captioned matter (“Lawsuit”) upon the terms set forth in the IPPs-Hitachi Maxell Settlement Agreement, the IPPs-NEC Settlement Agreement, and the IPPs-LG Chem Settlement Agreement (“Settlement Agreements”);

         WHEREAS, this Court has reviewed and considered the Settlement Agreements entered into among the parties, together with all exhibits thereto, the record in this case, and the briefs and arguments of counsel;

         WHEREAS, IPPs have applied for an order granting preliminary approval of the Settlement Agreements;

         WHEREAS, this Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that the action meets all the prerequisites of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;

         WHEREAS, this Court has reviewed and approves of the IPPs' proposal in the Motions to have the claims period for IPPs' settlement with Defendants Sony Corporation, Sony Energy Devices Corporation, and Sony Electronics, Inc. (collectively, “Sony”), which this Court preliminary approved on May 26, 2016 (ECF No. 1292), occur simultaneously with the claims period for the settlements with the LG Chem, Hitachi Maxell, and NEC to maximize the effectiveness of the campaign and to promote efficiency in claims processing, such that the claims period shall continue through and including Wednesday, September 30, 2017;

         WHEREAS, all defined terms contained herein shall have the same meanings as set forth in the Settlement Agreements;

         NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

         1. The Court does hereby preliminarily approve of the Settlement Agreements and the settlements set forth therein, subject to further consideration of a hearing (the “Fairness Hearing”).

         2. The Fairness Hearing shall be held before this Court on August 1, 2017, at 2:00 p.m., at the United States District Court, located in Courtroom 1- 4th Floor, at 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612 to determine whether to approve certification of the class for settlement purposes; whether the proposed settlements of the Lawsuit on the terms and conditions provided for in the Settlement Agreements are fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Settlement Classes and should be approved by the Court; whether a final judgment should be entered herein; whether the proposed plan of distribution should be approved; to determine the amount of fees and expenses that should be awarded to Class Counsel; and to determine the amount of the incentive awards that should be provided to class representatives. The Court may adjourn the Fairness Hearing without further notice to the members of the Settlement Class.

         3. Pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court preliminarily certifies, for purposes of effectuating this settlement, a Settlement Class as follows:

All persons and entities who, as residents of the United States and during the period from January 1, 2000 through May 31, 2011, indirectly purchased new for their own use and not for resale one of the following products which contained a lithium-ion cylindrical battery manufactured by one or more defendants or their coconspirators: (i) a portable computer; (ii) a power tool; (iii) a camcorder; or (iv) a replacement battery for any of these products. Excluded from the class are any purchases of Panasonic-branded computers. Also excluded from the class are any federal, state, or local governmental entities, any judicial officers presiding over this action, members of their immediate families and judicial staffs, and any juror assigned to this action, but included are all non-federal and non-state governmental entities in California.

         4. The Court designates Christopher Hunt, Piya Robert Rojanasathit, Steve Bugge, Tom Pham, Bradley Seldin, Patrick McGuiness, John Kopp, Drew Fennelly, Jason Ames, William Cabral, Donna Shawn, Joseph O'Daniel, Cindy Booze, Matthew Ence, David Tolchin, Matt Bryant, Sheri Harmon, Christopher Bessette, Caleb Batey, Linda Lincoln, Bradley Van Patten, the ...


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