MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - It doesn't compare to winning the lottery, but if you own a flat-screen TV, you could be eligible for a share of a billion dollar class-action settlement.
Ten LCD flat-screen TV manufactures agreed to a pre-trial settlement of a lawsuit claiming they engaged in years of price-fixing. It is considered one of the largest anti-trust class-action settlements ever, covering consumers in 24 states including Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Scott Beall, a Memphis resident, played a key role in the suit. A couple of years ago, Beall said he was shopping for a 55' flat-screen TV when he noticed no matter where he went, the TVs were the same price.
"It just struck me as strange but I didn't at the time suspect that there was price fixing going on," Beall said.
Beall said he later had lunch with a friend, who is also a lawyer, who told him about the class-action lawsuit.
"I volunteered, I bought one, and I spent a lot of money on it," he said.
Mark Schirmer, a Memphis-based lawyer, represented Beall.
He says the manufacturers, based in Korea, Taiwan and Japan, held so-called "crystal meetings" where they would set the price of LCD screens. The brands include: AU Optronics, Chimei, Chunghwa, Epson, Hannstar, Hitachi, LG, Sharp, Samsung, and Toshiba.
"They were clearly doing what they were accused of doing," Schirmer said. "It is always unusual to find the level of documentation you might find in this case."
The settlement covers LCD flat-screens in TVs, computer monitors and laptops sold between 1999 and 2006.
Lawyers estimate price-fixing victims could see between $25 to $50 per item, depending on what they bought.
For more information and to see if you qualify, visit: https://lcdclass.com/
The deadline to register is Thursday, December 6th.