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City Attorney's Statement Regarding Lithium Ion Battery Anti-Trust Litigation

This statement is from Palo Alto City Attorney Molly Stump:

On May 6, the City Council authorized the City Attorney to initiate a class action lawsuit against the following manufacturers of rechargeable lithium ion batteries (Li-Ion batteries):  Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi, LG Chem, Samsung and Sanyo.  These manufacturers are alleged to have conspired to fix prices of Li-Ion batteries that were included in many consumer electronic products, such as laptop computers, smart phones and GPS devices, between 2001 and 2011.  Under U.S. anti-trust laws, it is unlawful to conspire to fix and raise prices.  Palo Alto purchased many devices containing Li-Ion batteries, including Toughbook rugged laptops for use by police officers in the field. 

The City of Palo Alto will serve as a representative for the interests of cities and other public entities.  Palo Alto's case will be consolidated with many other cases brought by individuals and entities in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  The case will be handled by the law firms of Renne Sloan Holtzman & Sakai LLP, and Green & Noblin PC, who will work on a contingent fee basis.  The City of Palo Alto will not pay legal fees or any other costs.  The City will provide a small amount of staff time to gather records of its purchases.  These staff costs will be fully reimbursed in any resolution of the litigation.

Please direct questions to the City Attorney’s Office 650-329-2171.

Last Updated: May 8, 2013