In its annual listing of the largest verdicts, the National Law Journal ranked the $261 million verdict against Toshiba Corporation in a class action trial brought by direct purchases of Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Displays (“TFT-LCDs”) as the eight largest verdict in the U.S. in 2012. TFT-LCDs are used in flat-panel televisions as well as computer monitors, laptop computers, mobile phones, personal digital assistants, and other devices.
The plaintiffs, represented by Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel, charged that the world’s leading manufacturers of TFT-LCDs conspired to raise and fix prices for over a decade. In the course of the litigation, the classes reached settlements with all defendants except Toshiba.
The case against Toshiba proceeded to trial. In July 2012, the jury found that Toshiba participated in the price-fixing conspiracy. The case was subsequently settled, bringing the total settlements in the litigation to over $470 million.
While the underlying litigation developed out of an investigation by the Department of Justice, the Department of Justice chose not to criminally prosecute Toshiba. Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel investigated and uncovered the evidence necessary to prove Toshiba’s participation in the conspiracy.
Discovery in the case spanned four years, and included depositions in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan and the review of documents in the Japanese, Korean, and Chinese languages. The case constitutes one of the few antitrust class actions that have proceeded to trial and resulted in a plaintiffs’ verdict in the past decade.