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|Judge Approves Bluetooth Headset Settlement with Slashed Fees|
- Tuesday, 14 August 2012 03:00
Judge Approves Bluetooth Headset Settlement with Slashed Fees
By Matt O'Donnell
New details have emerged regarding the Bluetooth headset class action settlement, which was sent back for review in September 2011. A federal judge has approved the class action lawsuit settlement, but has slashed the Plaintiffs’ fees by more than half. No money will be provided to Class Members.
The Bluetooth headset settlement resolves more than 26 putative class action lawsuits alleging that Bluetooth headsets can cause hearing loss, and that the Defendants failed to publicize this information. The Plaintiffs in the Bluetooth headset class action lawsuit claimed that they would not have purchased the headsets if they had known that using the devices for more than a few minutes each day would expose them to the risk of noise-induced hearing loss. They sought damages of $70 to $150 per headset, as well as restitution, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and costs.
U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer certified a class of all U.S. residents who purchased Bluetooth headsets between 2002 and 2009, and a class action settlement was reached that would require the Defendants to, among other things: (1) post warnings on their websites and in product manuals; (2) pay $100,000 to be divided among non-profits addressing hearing loss prevention issues; and (3) pay attorneys' fees not in excess of $800,000.
The case was sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to review an appeal of the settlement brought by an objector who claimed Judge Fischer did not adequately test whether the attorneys’ fees were excessive. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the objector, and rejected the Bluetooth headset settlement, sending it back to Judge Fischer for further review.
On July 31, 2012, Judge Fischer approved the Bluetooth headset class action settlement, but lowered the attorneys’ fees to nearly $283,000 – more than half the figure she originally approved.
The case is In re: Bluetooth Headset Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 9-56683.
Updated August 14th, 2012
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Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:09