LG REFRIGERATOR CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

BENTLEY, ET AL. V. LG ELECTRONICS U.S.A., INC.

Case No. 19-CV-13554 (D.N.J.)

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. BASIC INFORMATION

  2. Why did I get a Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement?

    You received a Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement because you may be a “Settlement Class Member,” meaning that you are a U.S. resident and purchased from an authorized retailer (other than for resale) an LG Refrigerator manufactured between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2017. The list of models included within the Settlement, referred to in a Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement as “Covered Models,” appears in response to Question 5. If you purchased a Covered Model and experienced a No-Cooling Event, you may be eligible to receive a cash payment if you submit a claim to the settlement administrator.

    The Court overseeing this case authorized a Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement because Settlement Class Members have the right to know about a class action settlement affecting their rights.

    The individuals who filed this Litigation are called the Plaintiffs. The company they sued, LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc. (“LG”), is called the Defendant.

  3. What is this lawsuit about?

    Plaintiffs allege they purchased Covered Models that stopped cooling their food and beverages because of a defective compressor part. Plaintiffs allege that LG knew about the defect but kept selling the LG Refrigerators and provided inadequate warranty and repair service. LG denies Plaintiffs’ claims. Both parties have agreed to this Settlement and the terms of the Settlement are summarized in the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement. You can read the Settlement Agreement here.

  4. What is a class action?

    In a class action, the Plaintiffs act as “class representatives” and file a lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. This group of people is called the “class” and the people in the class are the “class members.” One court resolves the issues for all class members, except for people who exclude themselves from the class. In this case, the presiding judge is Judge Madeline Cox Arleo of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (the federal court in Newark, New Jersey). The case is Bentley, et al. v. LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., No. 2:19-cv-13554-MCA-MAH (D.N.J.). The Settlement also resolves another case that involves similar allegations, Sosenko, et al. v. LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., No. 8:19-cv-00610-JLS-ADS (C.D. Cal.).

  5. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or LG. The Parties took discovery, engaged in motion practice, and participated in mediation sessions overseen by an experienced mediator, and held numerous settlement conferences. The Settlement avoids the costs and risks of continued litigation and a trial and provides compensation for Settlement Class Members without the delay and uncertainty of trial. The Class Representatives and their attorneys believe the Settlement is in the best interests of the Settlement Class Members.

  6. WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT

  7. Who is in the Settlement?

    You are a Settlement Class Member if you are a U.S. resident and purchased from an authorized retailer (other than for resale) a Covered Model of LG Refrigerator manufactured between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2017. If you previously signed a release of claims involving a No-Cooling Event on your LG Refrigerator, you are not a Settlement Class Member and are excluded from the Settlement. The Covered Models are the following LG Refrigerator models, with serial number range 401********* to 712*********). This list is also available for download here:

    LFC28768SB LFXS29626B LSFXC2476S
    LFC28768ST LFXS29626S LSXC22386D
    LFC28768SW LFXS29626W LSXC22386S
    LFCS31626S LFXS29766S LSXC22396D
    LFX28968D LFXS30726S LSXC22396S
    LFX28968SB LFXS30766D LSXC22426S
    LFX28968ST LFXS30766S LSXS22423B
    LFX28968SW LFXS30796D LSXS22423S
    LFX29927SB LFXS30796S LSXS22423W
    LFX29927ST LMXC23746D LSXS26326B
    LFX29927SW LMXC23746S LSXS26326S
    LFX29945ST LMXS27626D LSXS26326W
    LFXC24726D LMXS27626S LSXS26336D
    LFXC24726S LMXS27676D LSXS26336S
    LFXC24796D LMXS30746S LSXS26336V
    LFXC24796S LMXS30776D LSXS26366D
    LFXS24623B LMXS30776S LSXS26366S
    LFXS24623D LPXS30866D LSXS26386D
    LFXS24623S LSFD2491ST LSXS26386S
    LFXS24623W LSFXC2476D LSXS26396S
    LFXS24663S

    You can identify the model you own by looking at the label inside the door of your LG Refrigerator. Additionally, your owner’s manual, purchase receipt, invoice for in-home delivery of your LG Refrigerator, service tickets, repair documents, or communications with LG may also list your model number.

  8. What should I do if I am still not sure whether I am included?

    If you are not sure whether you are included in the Settlement Class, you can ask for free help by emailing the Settlement Administrator at Info@LGFridgeSettlement.com or calling the Settlement Administrator at 855-918-4661 for more information.

  9. THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS

  10. What benefits does the Settlement provide?

    LG has agreed to pay substantial cash payments to Settlement Class Members who experienced one or more No-Cooling Events as described below, but to receive a payment, you must submit a claim on or before January 11, 2021.

    In addition to paying Settlement Class Members who qualify for a payment, LG has agreed to extend all Settlement Class Members’ warranties. If you are a Settlement Class Member, your warranty period will be extended to five years from the date of your purchase and that extension will include all labor costs related to repairs during that time period as well as the additional warranty benefits described below. If your LG Refrigerator stops cooling during that five year period, you may be entitled to additional benefits described in the Settlement Agreement, including reimbursement for repair costs and property loss or damage. Also, until either the date the Settlement becomes effective or one year after the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement Date—whichever comes first—LG will also provide all Settlement Class Members with free warranty service if your LG Refrigerator stops cooling, even if your original warranty has already expired.

    LG will also implement the following seven (7) “Enhanced Customer Care” measures:

    1. LG will create and maintain an LG Refrigerator Customer Care Team to address, on a timely and expedited basis, No-Cooling Events experienced in the future by Settlement Class Members, with live operator support during regular business hours, sufficient to handle call volume without unreasonable delay. To obtain this support, Settlement Class Members who experience a No-Cooling Event at any time after receiving the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement must contact the LG Refrigerator Customer Care Team to schedule a repair or other service at:

      LG Electronics Alabama
      201 James Record Rd.
      Huntsville, AL 35824
      Telephone: 1 (800) 243-0000

    2. LG will increase the number of its Directly-Managed Mobile Service Technicians (“DMSTs”), which has already more than doubled since 2019, and use commercially reasonable best efforts to maintain an adequate service network, expand its nationwide coverage, and ensure that it meets or exceeds industry standards for responding to requests for warranty service related to the LG Refrigerators.
    3. LG will create and maintain a new program designed to provide incentives for faster repair service without sacrificing quality of repair, including a commitment that LG will undertake commercially reasonable best efforts to ensure that a LG-employed repair technician or an Authorized Repair Service Provider (a list of Authorized Repair Service Providers can be found at https://www.lg.com/us and here, as available, arrives at a Settlement Class Member’s home as quickly as is practicable, within seven (7) days of receiving the Settlement Class Member’s initial request for service, and with all necessary parts on hand.
    4. LG will develop a new mobile service application for the use of service technicians, including both LG-employed repair technicians and Authorized Repair Service Providers, to improve accuracy in the diagnosis of problems with LG Refrigerators.
    5. LG will invest in efforts to develop and upgrade parts and software to improve the cooling performance of LG Refrigerators.
    6. LG will implement a proactive consumer outreach program to follow up on U.S. consumers’ satisfaction level regarding LG Refrigerators and service performed on them.
    7. LG will enhance its Customer Care to provide Settlement Class Members who experience multiple No-Cooling Events during the extended warranty period cash payments as set forth on the Enhanced Warranty Claim Form (enclosed with the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement), subject to LG’s verification that the cause was not the result of a Non-LG Cause. Settlement Class Members who experience multiple No-Cooling Events in the future will be notified by LG of their eligibility for such cash payments and the amounts of the payments and shall be provided by LG with a copy of the Enhanced Warranty Claim Form. Payments to Settlement Class Members under this paragraph will be sent directly by LG to qualifying Settlement Class Members no later than 60 days from LG’s receipt of an Enhanced Warranty Claim.
  11. Who can get money from the Settlement, and how much?

    If your LG Refrigerator experienced a No-Cooling Event, you can receive cash payments under the Settlement if (a) you paid for parts or labor to have your refrigerator repaired; (b) had unsuccessful repairs; (c) had delayed repairs; (d) suffered property loss or property damage including the value of any spoiled food, beverages, medicine, or other perishables, or damage to property; and/or (e) replaced your LG Refrigerator after a No-Cooling Event.

    You can support your claim with only a statement under oath (in which case you will receive up to $450 depending on the information supplied on your claim) OR you can support your claim with additional proof (in which case you may be eligible to receive greater cash payments). Proof may include receipts, invoices, photographs, payment card records, inspection records, insurance records, or other reasonable documentary proof. A claim based upon your replacement of your LG Refrigerator after a No-Cooling Event must be supported by proof.

    If you have previously received payments from LG, or its retailers or its insurers, for the same No-Cooling Events for which you seek to recover through the claim form, the Settlement Administrator will subtract such previous payments from the total payments to be paid to you under this Settlement.

    SUMMARY OF RECOVERABLE AMOUNTS

    No Additional Proof: You can make a claim with only a statement under oath without additional proof. You will be eligible for the following cash payments:

    • $50 for one or more unsuccessful repairs;
    • $100 for out-of-pocket labor costs for repairs;
    • $50 for repairs that were delayed by at least 10 days; and
    • Up to $250 for property loss (such as food/beverage spoilage or other damages)
    • Total Possible Cash Payment Without Proof: Up to $450.00

    With Additional Proof: If you submit a claim form with additional proof, meaning receipts, invoices, photographs, payment card records, inspection records, insurance records, or other reasonable documentary proof, you will be eligible for a larger cash payment, including the following:

    • Parts and Labor. Up to full reimbursement for payments for labor and parts for repairs attributable to No-Cooling Events that occurred within 5 years of purchase).
    • Unsuccessful Repairs. Up to $1,000 for unsuccessful repairs by LG or its authorized repair service provider following No-Cooling Events that occurred within 5 years of purchase ($180 for two No-Cooling Events, the amount which shall be reduced to half for a cause not attributable to LG; $500 for three No-Cooling Events; and $1,000 for four or more No-Cooling Events). If you experienced unsuccessful repairs from a non-LG authorized repair service provider, you may also submit a claim, which will be paid if the settlement administrator determines that you acted reasonably in seeking repairs from a non-authorized provider (e.g., due to a lack of availability of an LG or authorized repair service provider within a 50-mile radius or based on a statement that an authorized repair service provider was not reasonably available, subject to cross-check with LG’s records). If your claim does not qualify, it will be treated as a claim under oath and you will receive $50.
    • Delayed Repairs. Up to $1,000 for delayed repairs by LG or an LG authorized repair service provider following each No-Cooling Event that occurred within five (5) years after the date of your purchase of the LG Refrigerator, as reflected in LG’s records or as shown by your proof. Payments for delayed repairs will be calculated as follows: if the repairs were delayed by ten days (with the initial call receipt date and service date excluded from the count), you will receive $120. The amount will increase by $20 per day (until but not including the service date) for up to 30 days, and by $25 per day for each day thereafter (until but not including the service date) up to a maximum amount of $1,000. If you experienced delayed repairs from a non-LG authorized repair service provider, you may also submit a claim which will be paid if the settlement administrator determines that you acted reasonably in seeking repairs from a non-authorized provider (e.g., due to a lack of availability of an LG or authorized repair service provider within a 50-mile radius or based on a statement that an authorized repair service provider was not reasonably available, subject to cross-check with LG’s records). If your claim does not qualify, it will be treated as a claim under oath and you will receive $50.
    • Property Loss. Up to $3,500 for property loss (including the value of spoiled food/beverages/medicines/perishables, or the value of other property that was damaged from the No-Cooling Event);
    • Replacement of LG Refrigerator. $650 if you experienced a failure to service or repair the LG Refrigerator following a No-Cooling Event that occurred within five (5) years after the date of purchase and subsequently disposed of or replaced the LG Refrigerator before September 22, 2020. This payment is in lieu of payment for unsuccessful repairs and/or delayed repairs.

    To receive the maximum recovery available to you under the Settlement, you must support your claim with receipts, invoices, photographs, payment card records, inspection records, insurance records, or any other available proof.

    For information on how to submit a claim, please refer to FAQ 10 below.

  12. What claims am I releasing if I stay in the Settlement Class?

    Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement (see Question 16), you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against LG about the issues in this case relating to the Covered Models of LG Refrigerators and No-Cooling Events. The “Releases” section in the Settlement Agreement describes the legal claims that you release if you remain in the Settlement Class. The Settlement Agreement can be found here.

  13. HOW TO GET A PAYMENT—MAKING A CLAIM

  14. How do I submit a claim and get a cash payment?

    In order to be eligible to receive a cash payment related to a past No-Cooling Event, you must complete and submit a valid and timely claim. There are three (3) ways to do so. Your claim and supporting documentation may be submitted:

    1. online here by following the instructions on how to submit a claim;
    2. by email to the settlement administrator using the email address Info@LGFridgeSettlement.com; or
    3. by U.S. mail to the settlement administrator using the address: LG Fridge Settlement c/o Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

    You can contact the settlement administrator to request a claim form by telephone (855) 918-4661, email Info@LGFridgeSettlement.com, or U.S. mail at LG Fridge Settlement c/o Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

    You should complete and submit your claim as soon as possible if you believe you are entitled to a payment under the Settlement.

  15. What is the deadline for submitting a claim?

    Claims must be submitted electronically or postmarked no later than January 11, 2021.

  16. When will I get my payment?

    The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on December 15, 2020, to decide whether to approve the Settlement. Updates about when payments will be made will be posted on this website.

  17. THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU

  18. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    Yes. The Court appointed Daniel C. Girard of Girard Sharp LLP and Shanon J. Carson of Berger Montague PC to represent you and the Settlement Class. These attorneys are called Class Counsel and their contact information is below. You will not be charged for their services.

    Daniel Girard
    Adam Polk
    Simon Grille
    Girard Sharp
    601 California Street, Suite 1400
    San Francisco, CA 94108
    Telephone: (415) 981-4800
    Email: LGFridge@girardsharp.com
    Shanon J. Carson
    Amey Park
    John (“Quinn”) Kerrigan
    Berger Montague PC
    1818 Market Street, Suite 3600
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
    Telephone: (215) 875-4701
    Email: LGSettlement@bm.net

  19. Should I get my own lawyer?

    You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Co-Lead Class Counsel works for you. If you want your own lawyer, you may hire one but are responsible for paying that lawyer.

  20. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel, who have not been paid for their services in this litigation since it began, will seek an award of up $375,000 as reimbursement for litigation costs that they advanced in pursuing the Litigation, to be paid separately by LG. Class Counsel will also seek attorneys’ fees of $5.5 million, plus an additional sum equal to one-third of the amount claimed by Class members, excluding the first 16,500 claims. The fees will compensate Class Counsel for investigating the facts, prosecuting the Litigation, and negotiating and administering the Settlement. The fees and expenses paid to Class Counsel will not reduce the benefits available under the Settlement.

    Class Counsel will also ask the Court to approve service award payments of $2,000 to each of the Class Representatives. If approved, these service awards will be paid by LG separately from all Claims under the Settlement.

  21. EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT

  22. How do I opt out of the Settlement?

    If you do not want to receive any benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep your right, if any, to sue LG on your own about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class. This is called “opting out” of the Settlement Class. The deadline for requesting exclusion from the Settlement is November 23, 2020. To opt out, you must send a letter to the Settlement Administrator that includes the following to LG Fridge Settlement c/o Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103:

    • Your name, address, telephone number, and email address;
    • A statement that “I wish to exclude myself from the Settlement Class in the LG Refrigerator Class Action Settlement” (or substantially similar clear and unambiguous language); and
    • Your signature.

    If you opt out of the Settlement, you will not have any rights as a Settlement Class Member under the Settlement; you will not receive any payment under the Settlement; you will not receive the warranty extensions under the Settlement; you will not be bound by any further orders or judgments in the Litigation; and you will keep the right to sue on your claims at your own expense.

  23. COMMENTING ON OR OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT

  24. How do I tell the Court if I object to the Settlement (or like the Settlement)?

    If you are a Settlement Class Member and do not opt out of the Settlement, you can comment on the Settlement or submit an objection. You cannot ask the Court to order a larger or different settlement; the Court can only approve or deny the Settlement that is before the Court. If the Court denies final approval of the Settlement, there will be no payments and the case will continue.

    If you want to object to the Settlement, you must do so in writing. You may also appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through your own attorney, at your own expense.

    To object, you must mail a statement to the Settlement Administrator stating that you object to the Settlement in Bentley et al. v. LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., No. 2:19-cv-13554-MCA-MAH (D.N.J.), and your objection must include:

    • Your name, address, telephone number, email address, and signature;
    • Accompanying evidence demonstrating that you are a Settlement Class Member, including the address of the building that contains or contained your Covered Model of LG Refrigerator and documentary proof that you purchased a Covered Model;
    • A detailed statement of your objection, including the grounds for it together with any evidence you think supports it;
    • A statement of the specific aspect(s) of the Settlement being challenged and whether the objection applies only to you, to a subset of the class, or to the whole Settlement Class; and
    • A statement of whether you and/or your lawyer intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing.

    To be valid, you must mail your objection by U.S. Mail and it must be postmarked no later than November 23, 2020 to LG Fridge Settlement c/o Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103:

  25. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?

    Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement. Excluding yourself from the Settlement is opting out and telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you opt out of the Settlement, you cannot object to it because it no longer affects you. You cannot both opt out and object to the Settlement. Any statement or submission purporting or appearing to be both an objection and opt-out shall be treated as a request for exclusion.

  26. THE COURT’S FINAL APPROVAL HEARING

  27. When is the Court’s Final Approval Hearing?

    The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 2:00 PM on December 15, 2020, in Courtroom MLK 4A of the Newark, New Jersey federal courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Room 4015, Newark, NJ 07101. At the Final Approval Hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will also consider Class Counsel’s motion for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards.

    The Court may reschedule the Final Approval Hearing or change any of the deadlines described in the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement. Be sure to check this webiste for any changes. You can also access the case docket via the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.njd.uscourts.gov.

  28. Do I have to come to the Final Approval Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. You may attend at your own expense if you wish. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to the Final Approval Hearing to talk about it. If you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.

  29. IF I DO NOTHING

  30. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you do nothing, you will receive no money from this Settlement, but you will get the warranty extensions and access to the LG Enhanced Customer Care benefits, and you will not be able to sue LG for the conduct alleged in this case.

  31. GETTING MORE INFORMATION

  32. Are more details about the Settlement available?

    Yes. The Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement summarizes the proposed Settlement—more details are set forth in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of those documents on the Important Documents page, by contacting Class Counsel at lgsettlement@girardsharp.com or lgsettlement@bm.net, by accessing the docket in this case through the court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.njd.uscourts.gov, or, subject to COVID-19 closures, by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for District of New Jersey, Martin Luther King Building & U.S. Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Room 4015, Newark, NJ 07101, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding court holidays.

    PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT OR THE CLAIM PROCESS.

  33. How do I get more information?

    This website contains all relevant information about the Settlement, as well as all relevant documents such as the Claim Form and Enhanced Warranty Claim Form. You can also call or write to the Settlement Administrator at LG Fridge Settlement c/o Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103: