Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I get a Notice?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. Why is this a class action?
  4. Why is there a Settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
  6. I'm still not sure if I am included.
  7. What relief does the Settlement provide to the Class Members?
  8. How can I get a Settlement Payment?
  9. When will I get a Settlement Payment and what is the deadline to cash the check for the Settlement Payment?
  10. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  11. How will the lawyers be paid?
  12. Will the Representative Plaintiffs receive any compensation for their efforts in bringing this Action?
  13. What am I giving up to obtain relief under the Settlement?
  14. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
  15. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
  16. What is the difference between excluding myself and objecting to the Settlement?
  17. What is the Fairness Hearing?
  18. When and where is the Fairness Hearing?
  19. May I speak at the hearing?
  20. How do I get more information?
  21. What if my address or other information has changed or changes after I submit a Claim Form?

1. Why did I get a Notice?

You received the Notice because a Settlement has been reached in this Action. According to Sony's available records you might be a member of the Settlement Class and may be eligible for the relief.

The Notice explains the nature of the Action, the general terms of the proposed Settlement, and your legal rights and obligations. To obtain more information about the Settlement, including information about how you can see a copy of the Settlement Agreement (which defines certain capitalized terms used in the Notice).

2. What is this lawsuit about?

Plaintiffs Christina Egner and Rickey Glasco (the "Representative Plaintiffs") filed a lawsuit against Sony on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated. The lawsuit alleges that Sony sold certain series of VAIO Laptops with a defectively designed touchpad (also known as trackpad) component.

Sony denies each and every one of the allegations of unlawful conduct, any wrongdoing, and any liability whatsoever, and no court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any liability. Sony further denies that any Class Member is entitled to any relief and, other than for settlement purposes, that this Action is appropriate for certification as a class action. Sony denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever.

The issuance of the Notice is not an expression of the Court's opinion on the merits or the lack of merits of the Representative Plaintiffs' claims in the Action.

For information about how to learn about what has happened in the Action to date, please see FAQ 20 below.

3. Why is this a class action?

In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called "Representative Plaintiff(s)" (in this Action, Christina Egner and Rickey Glasco) sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The court previously determined that this Action was appropriate for class treatment for trial. For purposes of this proposed Settlement, one court will resolve the issues for all Class Members. The company sued in this case, Sony, is called the Defendant.

4. Why is there a Settlement?

The Representative Plaintiffs have made claims against Sony. Sony denies that it has done anything wrong or illegal and admits no liability. The Court has not decided that the Representative Plaintiffs or Sony should win this Action. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement in order to limit further expense, inconvenience, and uncertainty. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the Class Members will receive relief now rather than years from now, if at all.

5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

The Court has decided that everyone who fits this description is a Class Member for purposes of the proposed Settlement: (1) California residents who purchased a Sony VAIO Laptop, series SZ, FZ, NW, EB, or F, in California between March 16, 2006 and January 4, 2017; and (2) New Jersey residents who purchased a Sony VAIO Laptop, series SZ, FZ, NW, EB, or F, in New Jersey between March 16, 2006 January 4, 2017. Excluded from the Class are Sony's Counsel, Sony's officers and directors, and the judges presiding over the Action.

6. I'm still not sure if I am included.

If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can contact the Claims Administrator for free help about whether you are a Class Member. The email address of the Claims Administrator is Info@VAIOTrackpadLitigationSettlement.com, the U.S. postal (mailing) address is In Re Sony VAIO Computer Notebook Trackpad Litigation Settlement, P.O. Box 43343, Providence, RI 02940-3343, and the toll-free telephone number is 1-877-790-2114.

7. What relief does the Settlement provide to the Class Members?

Sony has agreed to provide the Class a Settlement Payment of a one-time cash payment of either (a) 65% of documented out-of-pocket expenses incurred to repair your touchpad up to a cap of $200; (b) 65% of documented out-of-pocket expenses incurred to purchase a peripheral workaround because of purported touchpad issues up to a cap of $60; (c) $25 for any Class Member who claims to have experienced touchpad issues, but does not have proof of repair or purchase of a peripheral workaround; or (d) $5 for a Class Member who does not meet criteria for the preceding (a) through (c). To receive a Settlement Payment, you must timely complete and submit a valid Claim Form, which explains the eligibility and any documentation requirements for the different payment categories.

8. How can I get a Settlement Payment?

To qualify for a Settlement Payment, you must send in a Claim Form by the deadline. The Claim Form may be submitted electronically or by postal mail. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the form, and postmark it by June 5, 2017 or submit it online on or before 11:59 p.m. (Pacific) on June 5, 2017.

9. When will I get a Settlement Payment and what is the deadline to cash the check for the Settlement Payment?

As described in FAQ 17 and 18 below, the Court will hold a hearing on August 7, 2017 at 10:30 a.m., to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, after that, there may be appeals. It's always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. You can check on the progress of the case on this website. Please be patient.

You will have one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of issuance to negotiate (i.e. cash) the check you receive for the Settlement Payment.

10. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court has ordered that the law firms of Gomez Trial Attorneys, Zeldes Haeggquist & Eck, LLP, and Doyle Lowther LLP ("Class Counsel") will represent the interests of all Class Members. You will not be separately charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

11. How will the lawyers be paid?

Sony has agreed to pay Class Counsel's attorneys' fees and costs up to $3.2 million, subject to approval by the Court. You will not be required to pay any attorneys' fees or costs for Class Counsel's attorneys' fees and costs.

12. Will the Representative Plaintiffs receive any compensation for their efforts in bringing this Action?

The Representative Plaintiffs will request a service award (also known as an "incentive award") of up to $10,000 for plaintiff Christina Egner and up to $7,500.00 for plaintiff Rickey Glasco for up to a total of $17,500 for their services as class representatives and their efforts in bringing the Action. The Court will make the final decision as to the amount to be paid to the Representative Plaintiffs. Sony agrees to pay to the Representative Plaintiffs the incentive awards approved by the Court up to $2,500 each for a total of $5,000 with any amount above that awarded by the Court being paid by Plaintiffs' Counsel through a distribution to the Named Plaintiffs from the attorneys' fees and costs amount.

13. What am I giving up to obtain relief under the Settlement?

If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will be releasing your claims against Sony. This generally means that you will not be able to file a lawsuit, continue prosecuting a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Sony regarding the allegations in the Action. The Settlement Agreement, contains the full terms of the release.

14. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

You may exclude yourself from the Class and the Settlement. If you want to be excluded, you must send a letter or postcard stating: (a) the name and case number of the Action "In Re Sony VAIO Computer Notebook Trackpad Litigation, Case No. 09-cv-2109 BAS MDD"; (b) your full name, address, and telephone number (email address optional); and (c) a statement that you do not wish to participate in the Settlement, postmarked no later than June 5, 2017 to the Claims Administrator at:

In Re Sony VAIO Computer Notebook Trackpad Litigation Settlement
P.O. Box 43343
Providence, RI 02940-3343

If you timely request exclusion from the Class, you will be excluded from the Class, you will not be bound by the judgment entered in the Action, and you will not be precluded from prosecuting any timely, individual claim against Sony based on the conduct complained of in the Action.

15. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?

At the date, time, and location stated in Section 18 below, the Court will hold a Fairness Hearing to determine if the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and to also consider Class Counsel's request for an award of attorneys' fees and costs.

If you wish to object to the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the Settlement Agreement or the proposed Settlement, you must submit a written objection to the Claims Administrator at the address set forth below no later than postmarked by June 5, 2017.

In Re Sony VAIO Computer Notebook Trackpad Litigation Settlement
P.O. Box 43343
Providence, RI 02940-3343

The written objections must state: (a) the name and case number of the Action "In Re Sony VAIO Computer Notebook Trackpad Litigation, Case No. 09-cv-2109 BAS MDD"; (b) the full name, address, and telephone number of the person objecting (email address optional); (c) the words "Notice of Objection" or "Formal Objection"; (d) in clear and concise terms, the objection and legal and factual arguments supporting the objection; and (e) facts showing that the person objecting is a Class Member. The written objection must be signed and dated, and must include the following language immediately above the signature and date: "I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing statements regarding class membership are true and correct to the best of my knowledge."

You may, but need not, submit your objection through counsel of your choice. If you do make your objection through an attorney, you will be responsible for your personal attorney's fees and costs.

IF YOU DO NOT TIMELY MAKE YOUR OBJECTION, YOU WILL BE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED ALL OBJECTIONS AND WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO SPEAK AT THE FAIRNESS HEARING.

If you submit a written objection, you may appear at the Fairness Hearing, either in person or through personal counsel hired at your expense, to object to the Settlement Agreement. You are not required, however, to appear. If you, or your attorney, intend to make an appearance at the Fairness Hearing, you must include on your timely and valid written objection a statement substantially similar to "Notice of Intention to Appear".

If you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing through counsel, you must also identify the attorney(s) representing you who will appear at the Fairness Hearing and include the attorney(s) name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and the state bar(s) to which counsel is admitted. Also, if you intend to request the Court to allow you to call witnesses at the Fairness Hearing, such request must be made in your written objection, which must also contain a list of any such witnesses and a summary of each witness's expected testimony.

16. What is the difference between excluding myself and objecting to the Settlement?

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don't like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don't want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the Settlement no longer affects you.

17. What is the Fairness Hearing?

The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement and will hold a hearing to decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The purpose of the Fairness Hearing will be for the Court to determine whether the Settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class, as well as to consider the award of attorneys' fees and expenses to Class Counsel.

18. When and where is the Fairness Hearing?

On August 7, 2017 at 10:30 a.m., a hearing will be held on the fairness of the proposed Settlement. At the hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the proposed Settlement's fairness. The hearing will take place before the Honorable Cynthia A. Bashant in Courtroom 4B (4th Floor - Schwartz) of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, located at 221 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101. The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time or location without notice. If the date or time of the Fairness Hearing changes, an update to the Settlement website will be the only way you will be informed of the change.

19. May I speak at the hearing?

At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.

You may attend, but you do not have to. As described above in Section 15, you may speak at the Fairness Hearing only if (a) you have timely served and filed an objection, and (b) you have timely and validly provided a Notice of Intention to Appear.

If you have requested exclusion from the Settlement, however, you may not speak at the Fairness Hearing.

20. How do I get more information?

Under the Court Document page you can view a copy of the Settlement Agreement, the Court's Preliminary Approval Order, Class Counsel's application for attorneys' fees and costs, and the operative complaint filed in the Action. Alternatively, you may contact the Claims Administrator at the email address: Info@VAIOTrackpadLitigationSettlement.com, the U.S. postal address: In Re Sony VAIO Computer Notebook Trackpad Litigation Settlement, P.O. Box 43343, Providence, RI 02940-3343, or the toll-free telephone number: 1-877-790-2114.

This description of this Action is general and does not cover all of the issues and proceedings that have occurred. In order to see the complete file you should visit www.pacer.gov or the Clerk's office at 333 West Broadway #420, San Diego, CA 92101 (619-557-5600). The Clerk will tell you how to obtain the file for inspection and copying at your own expense.

21. What if my address or other information has changed or changes after I submit a Claim Form?

It is your responsibility to inform the Claims Administrator of your updated information. You may do so at the address below:

In Re Sony VAIO Computer Notebook Trackpad Litigation Settlement
P.O. Box 43343
Providence, RI 02940-3343