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Toshiba Settles DLP Class Action Suit

Washington — U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold of the Eastern District of New York last week granted final approval of a class action settlement between purchasers of certain models of Toshiba DLP televisions and Toshiba America and Toshiba America Consumer Products.

The class action lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2007, alleged that the lamps of certain Toshiba DLP televisions were susceptible to premature failure, causing purchasers to repeatedly purchase costly replacement bulbs, which allegedly suffered from the same defect.

Plaintiffs sued Toshiba, citing consumer-protection law and breach of express and implied warranty.

According to a statement from the plaintiffs’ attorneys, a settlement was reached after several months of negotiations providing reimbursement to class members who purchased a bulb replacement that failed before its useful service life and an extension of the warranty on replacement bulbs from six months to 12 months.

The parties estimated about 265,000 purchasers of Toshiba DLP TVs in the United States are affected. The settlement terms were valued “in excess of $1 million.”

“This settlement accomplishes precisely what we sought to achieve when filing this litigation,” stated Gary E. Mason lead counsel for the plaintiffs with the Mason Law Firm. “It fully addresses the complaints of class members who reasonably expected their high-end DLP televisions to last several years without the need to purchase costly replacement parts.”

Commenting on the decision, Toshiba issued a statement saying:

“When Toshiba identified an issue with the bulbs in some of their 2005 Digital Light Projection (DLP) TV models, Toshiba took immediate action and initiated a program to develop an improved bulb, as well as to provide reimbursement to their customers for the cost of replacement bulbs in those models.

“Toshiba communicated the details of their proactive program by contacting their customers and posting information on their web site; Toshiba has since also agreed to provide reimbursement to some additional customers for the cost of replacement bulbs in both 2004 and 2005 models. To provide further customer support, Toshiba also recently agreed to extend the warranty from six months to one year on the new replacement bulb. We are pleased that we were able to offer these accommodations to our customers and we continue to strive to offer our customers the best service.”