Posted By Wesley Goheen, Web Managing Editor - email
By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -
Most of us have electronics in our homes, anything from televisions to computers and gaming systems. But did you know those devices could be your ticket to free money?
You could receive up to $1,000 simply by joining a class action lawsuit related to those electronics.
D-RAM stands for dynamic random access memory. It's a high tech component used in computers, printers and video game consoles. The companies that made them allegedly conspired to fix prices. Those companies then agreed to pay consumers more than $300 million to settle the case.
$200-million dollars will go to consumers and businesses who were affected that purchased the products between 1998 and 2002.
"In many cases, when you have consumers getting any kind of settlement it's through this kind of a measure and frequently state attorney's general work with the lawyers to help that happen," says Amy Hendrickson, a law professor at Saginaw Valley State University.
The D-RAM claims that the minimum recovery is $10, while larger purchasers could receive $1,000 or more. The final payout amounts will be depend on the number of people who file. The $10 figure is based on 210 million claims, but if fewer people file the payouts will be even more.
Companies or someone who bought a lot of devices with D-RAM probably won't see hundreds of dollars.
Jeff McCulloch is a computer consultant for Yeo and Yeo in Saginaw. As a result, he won't waste his time filling out the claims forms because he believes eventually those who file a lot of claims will need to prove they bought the devices.
At this time, you don't need documentation of proof of purchase but settlement lawyers say that could change.
Katie Baluha practices business law in Saginaw County. TV5 asked her to take a look at the class action lawsuit. Baluha says consumers might as well fill out a claim form, but she cautions there could be a chance you won't get anything.
"By the initial research that I did on this case, basically, if there's more than five million claimants in this case, no one will get any money from what I understand. $40 million is allotted to go to a court approved non-profit organization," says Baluha.
Dave Van Nostrand is an engineer at WNEM TV5. Van Nostrand is also a techie, and he didn't hesitate to fill out claim forms for the class action lawsuit that he received in the mail at home for personal items he bought. Van Nostrand figured it was worth his time to file three claims. After all, that would be at least 30 bucks.
"If I'm owed the money, then I'm owed the money," says Van Nostrand.
You may file several times, but settlement officials will run audits to check for duplicate claims. A refund you could get for a few minutes of your time.
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