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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Hitachi Buyers Can’t Sue as a Class Over LCD Panels

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Customers that purchased allegedly defective liquid crystal display, rear-projection televisions from Hitachi may not sue the Japanese corporation as a class, a California federal judge ruled.

California's southern district had previously consolidated three class actions brought by seven lead plaintiffs in 2008 and 2010. The complaints, which include allegations of unfair business practices and breach of warranty, argue that their televisions' optical blocks were defective upon delivery and "manifests itself over time, render[ing] the televisions unsuitable for their principal and intended purpose."

Plaintiffs moved to certify a class of U.S. buyers and a subclass for California consumers, suing under the state's Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw found that the plaintiffs failed to satisfy the requirements to sue as a class.

California's consumer-protection and warranty laws conflict with comparable laws in the other 49 states, Sabraw found. The judge also concluded that the plaintiffs did not prove that Hitachi products were designed or manufactured in California, although defendants Hitachi Home Electronics (America) and Hitachi America both have a corporate presence in the state.

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