Article ID : S1Q0355 / Last Modified : 04/06/2010

Sony VAIO® GRX Series Notebook National Class Action Settlement

Applicable Products and Categories of This Article

This website was established to inform you of the settlement of a lawsuit concerning Sony VAIO® GRX Notebook computers in the 500 and 600 series. The specific model numbers included in the settlement are:

  • PCG-GRX500, PCG-GRX510, PCG-GRX520, PCG-GRX550
  • PCG-GRX560, PCG-GRX570, PCG-GRX580, PCG-GRX590
  • PCG-GRX600, PCG-GRX650, PCG-GRX670, PCG-GRX690


- How do I find my model number?

This website will be updated periodically. The lawsuit is currently pending in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. The case is called Martin Hapner v. Sony Electronics Inc., Superior Court of California, San Diego County, Case No. 839244. Listed below is information related to the settlement.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Last Day To Submit a Request for Exclusion – this deadline is already passed.
  • Last Day To File an Objection – this deadline is already passed.
  • Last Day To Send A Claim Form – this deadline is already passed.
  • Final Settlement Approval Hearing Date – this hearing has already taken place.

Documents

For best results use the latest version of Adobe® Reader® to view .PDF files.    


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



What is this lawsuit about? (top)
A lawsuit was filed regarding Sony VAIO® GRX Notebook computers in the 500 and 600 series. The Plaintiff in the case claims that the computers were defectively designed and that the solder joints holding the memory sockets onto the motherboards of the computers would fail prematurely. The Plaintiff claims this resulted in failure to boot, inability to access installed memory, freezing and other related symptoms. Sony Electronics Inc., the Defendant in the case, says it did not do anything wrong and that there is nothing wrong with the computers.
The court in charge of the lawsuit is the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego.

Why is the case a class action? (top)
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called "Class Representatives" (in this case Plaintiff Martin Hapner) sue on behalf of people whom they claim have similar claims. The people together are a "Class" or "Class Members." One court decides the lawsuit for everyone in the Class. The court in this case has decided that the lawsuit can proceed as a class action.

Why is there a settlement? (top)
The court has not decided who is right or wrong. Instead, Plaintiff and Sony agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the costs and risks of a trial and, if the settlement is approved, benefits are provided to the Class. If the settlement is ultimately not approved by the court, then Class Members will not get the benefits of this settlement, and the Plaintiff will need to go back to court to prove his case through trial.

How do I know if I am part of the settlement? (top)
You are a Class Member and part of the settlement if you are a person or entity in the United States, and you purchased or received as a gift a Sony VAIO® GRX Notebook computers with one of the following model numbers, including configure-to-order models within the Sony VAIO® GRX 500 and 600 series:

  • PCG-GRX500, PCG-GRX510, PCG-GRX520, PCG-GRX550
  • PCG-GRX560, PCG-GRX570, PCG-GRX580, PCG-GRX590
  • PCG-GRX600, PCG-GRX650, PCG-GRX670, PCG-GRX690

- How do I find my model number?



What are my options if I am a member of the Settlement Class? (top)
If you are a member of the Settlement Class – The deadlines to submit a claim, object to the settlement or exclude yourself have now passed. If you did not exclude yourself, you will be bound by the settlement whether or not you submited a claim.

What are the possible benefits of this settlement? (top)
If you are a Class Member, you may be eligible to receive benefits from the settlement if you paid to have the motherboard of your computer replaced or the memory sockets(s) of the computer resoldered. You may also be eligible to receive benefits from the settlement if you obtained a written estimate for the cost to have the motherboard of your computer replaced or the memory sockets(s) of the computer resoldered.

Benefits will be paid in the form of checks, which shall remain valid and negotiable for ninety (90) days after issuance.

How can I tell which benefits I may be eligible for? (top)
If you paid Sony or a third party service provider to replace the motherboard of your computer or to resolder the memory socket(s) due to failure to boot, inability to access installed memory, freezing and/or other related symptoms, you may be eligible to receive a payment based on the timing and cost of the repair.

Timing of Repair After Purchase Payment Amount
12 months 1 day to 18 months 100% of documented repair cost
18 months 1 day to 24 months 40% of documented repair cost
24 months 1 day to 36 months 10% of documented repair cost

If you obtained a written estimate of the cost for Sony or a third party service provider to replace the motherboard of your computer or to resolder the memory socket(s) due to failure to boot, inability to access installed memory, freezing and/or other related symptoms, but opted not to have the repair completed, you may be eligible to receive a payment based on the timing of the estimate.

Timing of Repair Estimate After Purchase Payment Amount
12 months 1 day to 18 months .00
18 months 1 day to 24 months .00
24 months 1 day to 36 months .50

The deadline to submit a claim has now passed.

When will I get the benefits from this settlement? (top)
The court has now given final approval to the settlement. If no appeals are filed, settlement benefits for valid and complete claims will be paid by May 19, 2010. If you submitted an incomplete claim, you will be notified and will be given an opportunity to submit a complete claim. If you then submit a complete and valid claim, your settlement may be paid at a later date.

Am I giving anything up in return for my benefit? (top)
Unless you got out of the settlement (which is called "excluding yourself" or "opting out"), you are part of the Class. By staying part of the Class, court orders will apply to you and you will give Sony a "release." A release means you can't sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Sony about the claims or issues in this lawsuit ever again.

How do I remain part of the Settlement Class? (top)
If you are in the Settlement Class, you do not need to take action to remain a member.

How to not participate in the Settlement Class. (top)
The deadline to exclude yourself from the settlement has now passed. If you did not exclude yourself, you will be bound by the settlement whether or not you submit a claim.

How to object to the settlement (top)
The deadline to object to the settlement has now passed.

What is the difference between excluding and objecting? (top)
Excluding yourself or opting out means getting out of the settlement altogether - you will not receive any benefits or be bound by the terms of the settlement. Objecting means remaining in the settlement, but complaining about some part of it you don't like.

What if I don't do anything? (top)
If you do nothing, you will not receive any benefits from this settlement, but you will still be a Class Member. You will be bound by the terms of the settlement, which means you cannot bring a lawsuit against Sony regarding the same claims.

Can I appear at the settlement hearing? (top)
The final fairness hearing already occurred on February 18, 2010.

Do I need to hire my own attorney? (top)
You do not need to hire an attorney, but you can if you want to. You, and the entire Class, are already represented by a group of attorneys listed below, who are known as Plaintiffs' Attorneys. You do not have to pay for Plaintiffs' Attorneys' services. You may contact Plaintiffs' Attorneys if you have any questions about this notice or settlement, but please do not contact Sony or the court.

Who are Plaintiffs' Attorneys? (top)
The lead Plaintiffs' Attorneys are: James Shah and James Miller of the law firm SHEPHERD, FINKELMAN, MILLER & SHAH, LLC. Class Members may contact these attorneys at:

SHEPHERD, FINKELMAN, MILLER & SHAH, LLC
35 East State Street
Media, PA 19063
http://www.sfmslaw.com

(top)
The court has awarded the Plaintiffs' Attorneys ,000 for their fees and expenses. This amount will be paid by Sony, and will not reduce any Class Member benefits.

When will the settlement be final? (top)
The court granted final approval to the settlement on February 18, 2010. If no appeals are filed, that ruling will become final on April 19, 2010.

What happens if the settlement is not approved? (top)
The settlement has already been approved by the court. If the settlement does not become final as the result of an appeal, Class Members will not receive any of the benefits described in this notice. It will be as if no settlement had been reached and no class had been established.

How can I get a claim form? (top)
You can download a claim form or obtain one by writing to: Sony VAIO Class Counsel, SHEPHERD, FINKELMAN, MILLER & SHAH, LLC, 35 East State Street, Media, PA 19063.

Where can I get more information? (top)
Click here to review a complete copy of the Settlement Agreement between the parties.

If you would like more information about this settlement, you can contact Plaintiffs' Attorneys at:

SHEPHERD, FINKELMAN, MILLER & SHAH, LLC
35 East State Street
Media, PA 19063
http://www.sfmslaw.com

This website will be updated periodically. Please check back for updated information about the status of the settlement and whether it has received final approval from the court.

Beginning April 5, 2010, you may call the following toll free telephone number to check the status of any claim you may have submitted: 1-866-218-4481

Please do not contact Sony or the courts.