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You May Be Owed Money If You Bought A Flat Screen TV, Computer Or iPod 10 Years Ago

Marcio Jose Sanchez
AP Photo
LCD Televisions on sale in Los Angeles in 2006.

If you bought a flat screen TV a decade ago, you probably paid too much for it. The same is true if you purchased a color computer monitor back then or even an iPod.  What these items have in common is an LCD screen and, because of a settlement reached in a price-fixing case brought by states against manufacturers of LCD screens, money is available to consumers who were overcharged. In Washington, the settlement amount to be distributed is $63 million.Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says his office has been trying to get the word out to people who lived in the state between 1998 and 2006 and purchased a product with an LCD screen that they can file for a claim on a Washington state website set up for that purpose.

“This is one of those claims that literally impacts many, if not most, of your listeners because these products are so ubiquitous, they’re just so common in our lives,” Ferguson said.

So far, only about 5,000 consumers in Washington state have applied for claims, which can be up to $108 for an LCD screen television. The deadline is June 17, 2016.

Ferguson does caution that there’s a third-party agent, Financial Recovery Services, which has set up its own website to file claims on behalf of consumers, but is charging one-third of the recovery money to do so. He reiterates that filing directly on the Washington state site is free.

You don't need a receipt to file a claim. However, according to the Attorney General, claimants could be asked to produce documentation in a claims audit process, especially for claims involving a significant number of purchases.

The $63 million settlement for price fixing by manufacturers of LCD screens ranks as the largest state recovery in an antitrust case in Washington history.

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.
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