On September 25, 2013, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California issued an order granting class certification to California and New Jersey residents who allege Sony Electronics, Inc. knowingly marketed and sold laptops containing defective touchpad components. A redacted copy of the order can be found here. “This is a great decision for consumers whose complaints about their trackpads on their Sony VAIO laptops malfunctioning have long fallen on (Sony’s) deaf ears,” said Helen Zeldes, of Zeldes, Haeggquist & Eck., class counsel for the lead plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against Sony. “We look forward to the next chapter in this litigation.”
The Court found “that both named plaintiffs and their counsel will provide adequate representation on behalf of the class.” In addition, referring to Sony’s attempt to defeat certification, the Court found, in part, that “three cases Sony relies on” are “materially different than Sony’s representation” and its assertion is “patently incorrect.” Simply put, Sony “has failed to explain how this case will be unmanageable beyond cursory assertions. In contrast, Plaintiffs argue two sub-classes sufficiently manage the different States’ laws.” “Each sub-class is represented by an appropriate named plaintiff and the respective state law will be applied to that sub-class. Under these circumstances, the Court finds the case easily manageable as the state law is clear cut.”
Ultimately, the central question regarding the laptops at issue is whether there is a design defect in the touchpad. “Resolving this issue, one way or another, for hundreds of thousands of VAIO computers sold since 2006, adds great economy of scale favoring class action treatment.” “The cost of repairing or returning a defective laptop is too small to incentivize class members to litigate claims individually.”
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