Lithium Batteries Class Action Overview
This proposed class action alleges that several defendants conspired with each other to raise, maintain, fix and/or stabilize the price of lithium-ion batteries and lithium-ion battery products sold in Canada and elsewhere from January 1, 2000 until at the earliest December 31, 2011.
Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable battery contained within consumer electronic products such as mobile phones, MP3 players and notebook computers.
The action alleges that the defendants and unnamed co-conspirators participated in illegal, secretive meetings and made agreements relating to the prices, market share divisions and production levels for lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium Batteries Updates
- March 28, 2018: The Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved notices of settlement involving Sony Corporation & its subsidiaries, Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. and its subsidiaries, and NEC Corporation and its subsidiaries. Once the notices are approved by the Quebec court, a notice describing these proposed settlements will be published on this site.
- May 7, 2018: An appeal was argued before the Ontario Court of Appeal regarding whether “Unconnected Purchasers” or “Umbrella Purchasers” (persons who purchased lithium ion batteries from non-defendants) are part of the class. We will post an update once the Court of Appeal’s decision is released.
- October 5, 2015: The Honourable Justice Perell released his decision to certify the claim as a class action. More specifically, Justice Perell certified the statutory cause of action (section 36 of the Competition Act). Section 36 of the Competition Act provides a right to sue for loss suffered as a result of anti-competitive behavior, including price-fixing.While certifying the above claim, Justice Perell removed parties called “Unconnected Purchasers” or “Umbrella Purchasers” from class membership. These are purchasers who purchased indirectly from non-Defendants which manufactured lithium-ion batteries. In addition, Justice Perell declined to certify certain causes of action, including: unlawful means conspiracy, unjust enrichment, the predominant purpose conspiracy, and interference with economic relations.Currently, counsel for the affected class are considering next steps in the proceeding. Further updates will be posted here.The list of Defendants is set out below:
- LG Chem, Ltd.;
- LG Chem America, Inc.;
- Panasonic Corporation;
- Panasonic Corporation of North America;
- Panasonic Canada, Inc.;
- Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.;
- Sayo North America Corporation;
- Sanyo Energy (U.S.A.) Corporation;
- Sony Corporation;
- Sony Energy Devices Corporation;
- Sony Electronics, Inc.;
- Sony of Canada Ltd.;
- Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.;
- Samsung SDI America, Inc.;
- Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.;
- Hitachi Ltd.;
- Maxell Corporation of America;
- Toshiba Corporation; and
- Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.
- March 24, 2014: The Honourable Justice Barbara Conway releases her decision granting carriage of the file to Sotos LLP and Siskinds LLP. The full decision can be accessed under the documents tab on the right hand side of this page.
- March 18, 2014: Sotos LLP and Siskinds LLP will bring a motion before the Honourable Justice Barbara Conway to determine which of two groups of law firms that have issued statements of claim in relation to lithium-ion battery pricing will be given carriage of the matter.
Lithium Batteries News
Sotos team awarded carriage of lithium batteries proposed class action
When two separate class actions are brought over the same subject matter, courts are sometimes required to decide which action should take precedence and which team of lawyers should be given "carriage" of the dispute. The court found that the class members would be best served by allowing the claim brought by the Sotos/Siskinds team to proceed and by staying the competing action.
Frequently Asked Questions
A class action is a special form of lawsuit in which one plaintiff brings a claim against one or more defendants based on allegations which are common to a group, or class, of people. In order for the action to become a class action, it must proceed through a stage known as “certification”.
A statement of claim is issued on behalf of a “representative plaintiff”. The representative plaintiff’s role is to work with class counsel to bring the action forward and to represent the class members in court.
In order for an action to proceed on behalf of the entire class, a judge must decide (among other things) whether the members of the proposed class have common issues, and whether a class action is the preferred way to resolve the issues. The process to decide these issues is known as the “certification motion”. If the judge is satisfied that the case meets all of the requirements for certification, he or she will issue an order which certifies the action as a class action.
No. If the lawsuit is certified, and you are included in the class as defined, you are automatically included in the lawsuit.
No. We will work primarily with the class representative.
Those who do not wish to remain in the class will be given the option to opt-out by sending an opt-out form at the appropriate time to us.
Certification as a class action will enable us to prove the facts in a single lawsuit rather than in numerous individual lawsuits. This has obvious benefits to the class members and to the courts.
There is no timeframe. We will move the case forward diligently but it can take a considerable period of time to reach trial.
Many class actions settle and thereby remove the need for a trial. However, we cannot predict with any certainty whether or not there will be a settlement in a given action.
The chances of “winning” can never be accurately predicted.
Class action lawsuits are typically brought on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyers will only be paid if the action is successful at trial or results in a settlement in favour of the plaintiffs. Legal fees would then be paid out of the settlement or judgment proceeds as approved by a judge.
Disbursements (i.e. out-of-pocket expenses, including expert reports) may be dealt with in one of two ways.
Most commonly, the lawyers will absorb the cost of disbursements. The lawyers may seek funding assistance from the Class Proceeding Fund, which may provide funding for disbursements if granted.
In some cases, disbursements may be funded by the class members, including the class representative. This typically occurs in smaller class actions brought on behalf of an organization or network of individuals where each member of the class is easily identifiable and known to the representative plaintiff. If the class action is successful, amounts advanced for disbursements are re-paid from the proceeds of any judgment or settlement to class members (and others).
Only the class representative may be liable for costs of the common issues portion of the action if it is unsuccessful.
A “payout” or an award for damages is never certain.
The action may settle or it may proceed to trial, at which time a judge will determine the amount of damages, if any, to which the class members are entitled to. Regardless, the amount of “payout” cannot be predicted, and we cannot predict when the action may settle or when the trial will conclude.
If the lawsuit is certified as a class action, you will receive a formal notice from the court explaining the nature of the case and providing you with the opportunity to opt out if you wish. General information about the lawsuit will be posted on Sotos LLP’s website at https://www.sotosclassactions.com.
We ask that you keep a copy of any documents, correspondences, records, invoices, receipts, etc. that you feel might be relevant to your individual claim in the class action. If there is a “payout,” this documentation may be required in order to support your claim for compensation.
It is not required that you send any documents to us at this time.