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Thread: Capacitor Purchase via Distrubutors 2002-2014 Class Action Lawsuit

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    Supporting Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    Capacitor Purchase via Distrubutors 2002-2014 Class Action Lawsuit

    I received a 12 pg notice from Capacitors Indirect Case (document attached) which could result in getting your share in a Class Action Settlement against numerous Defendants in the case, including Elna, Matsuo, Nichicon, Panasonic, Sanyo, Rubycon, Nippon Chemi-Con, United Chemi-con to mention a few. The case has to do with an unlawful conspiracy to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize the price of Film and Electrolytic Capacitors.

    Details on the case, what you have to do to file a claim, legal fees via appointed Class Counsel, etc are all within the file. I believe this is only for US citizens, or those purchasing thru US Distributors.

    At least since I've been doing maintenance/repair at CenterStaging since March, 2009, I have most of the receipts in my database. Since this case covers the purchase from Distributors between 2002 and 2014, digging out the receipts before 2009 will be tedious, but, all those purchases were done via CC, and I no doubt have the actual receipts filed away for use in my yearly tax filings for my business.

    Not that it will amount to much, not being a manufacturer, but, it might be worth putting together the details and filing the form. It looks like the Attorney's fees is around 30%, so that's a slice off the top on whatever might come your way if your claim is found valid.

    Capacitor Purchase via Distributors Lawsuit.pdf

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  2. #2
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Stinking to high Heaven.
    Absolute best case: dollars to lawyers, cents to you.

    A similar case:
    Post subject: Re: "Capacitors Indirect Settlement"
    PostPosted: Apr Fri 07, 2017 3:01 am

    Not involved in this one, but about 10 yrs. ago was part of a stock price Class Action. I spent about 2 hrs. finding old documents and calculating numbers. The company had agreed to about a $200 million settlement.

    Sent in all the forms. Our potential payback was about $1800.

    2 years later, we got a check in the mail.
    Our share, after lawyer fees, was $89 !

    Rich

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    But I don't want to poop in nevetslab's punch bowl either. Even if the dollar amount is low there's still some civic duty to bring justice. We can't have companies that are supposed to be in competition with one another colluding to fix prices. That said...

    I have no idea what the laws are like where the parent companies for these manufacturers operate. It may be that buyers can't effectively impose their own countries laws on sellers? And I don't even doubt that any price manipulation conspiracy on their part had nothing to do with profiteering and was more a matter of mutual survival. Look at what the amp related axial cap industries have done to prices! I can get Nichicons or Panasonics that are better for one third the price. That doesn't seem like profiteering. Just sayin'.

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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    I too received the notice! Fear not, the Lawyers can make AT MOST only $905,071.23 (from page 5) so the poor guys are probably barely able to get out of bed in the morning for such meager sustenance...

    But I'm too busy documenting my 437,348 separate purchases of EL and film caps from Jan 1, 2002 - Feb 28, 2014* to care about who is the greatest beneficiary of this noble effort to look out for us "little guys"

    * the easily accessed total from the 2300 odd page Excel file I've been dutifully populating for about 1h every day for the last couple decades, I just KNEW it would eventually pay off!

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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    In all seriousness this case if pretty fascinating, the cap cartel began meeting in 2002 and met regularly to fix prices, they even describe Nippon Chemicon and Nichicon being repeatedly scolded for lowering prices too much and not "holding the line" . And EVERY large Mfg was involved. And it included EL, Tant, Film and ceramic caps!

    Several US cap distributors launched cases against the cartel,they make fascinating reading, see:
    https://www.docketbird.com/court-doc...cv-03264-01355
    (they allege the fix was in in both North and South America!)

    Remember this was all happening in the middle of the so called "Capacitor Plague" of 1999-2007
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

    which may or may not have been orchestrated to drive sales of top line price fixed caps!

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    Wow.
    Cap prices didn't seem to be that inflated, especially buying volume like I do for my company.

    It's like every major industry is corrupt.

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  7. #7
    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewl View Post
    Wow.
    Cap prices didn't seem to be that inflated, especially buying volume like I do for my company.

    It's like every major industry is corrupt.
    I think in reality "every major market is (to some degree) managed"
    Why compete when the REAL enemy is the customer?
    (this is a paraphrased quote from an (also Japanese!) competitor of Archer Daniels Midlands while they conspired to fix lysine prices, as dramatized in the Matt Damon movie: The Informant!)

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    The main problem is all markets are compromised.

    20 former famous brands closed/disappeared/ere absorbed and are currently made and sold by a single monster entity, rinse and repeat.

    So 60/100 possible competitors reduced to 4 or 5 actual ones ... easy to sit them around a coffee table and settle prices, selling zones, whatever.

    Copypaste from the *first* google example, as said above rinse and repeat:
    Vishay has grown through acquisitions to include such top names as Dale, Sfernice, Draloric, Sprague, Vitramon, Siliconix, General Semiconductor, BCcomponents, and Beyschlag.
    Company Info - Vishay
    Legally, nobody can accuse these brands of "colluding with each other" , they are all "brands" (think rubber stamps) from a single company to sell their products.

    But don´t worry, they already signed the "Modern Slavery Act of 2015"

    No, I´m not kidding:
    http://www.vishay.com/docs/48410/mod...5-jan12019.pdf

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    Last edited by J M Fahey; 09-29-2019 at 02:41 PM.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Supporting Member Randall's Avatar
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    I was involved in a class action suit some time ago. My check was for way less than one dollar.

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    It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

  10. #10
    Senior Member mhuss's Avatar
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    I suspect no one here will get a big payout, but it's still good those guys got their wrists slapped.

    The fact is, bribes, kickbacks, etc. are just part of doing business in much of the non-western world, so it maybe seemed normal for them.

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  11. #11
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhuss View Post
    I suspect no one here will get a big payout, but it's still good those guys got their wrists slapped.

    The fact is, bribes, kickbacks, etc. are just part of doing business in much of the non-western world, so it maybe seemed normal for them.
    The less people participating in the lawsuit will mean more for the one's who do. So yes not a big payout but my guess is that many won't want to go through the hassle of documenting all of their 2002-2014 capacitor purchases. Which only means more money for the one's that do.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrGonz78 View Post
    The less people participating in the lawsuit will mean more for the one's who do. So yes not a big payout but my guess is that many won't want to go through the hassle of documenting all of their 2002-2014 capacitor purchases. Which only means more money for the one's that do.
    A good point. What about major manufacturers who buy caps by the millions and billions - even if I bought say 10,000 caps in the target time period what kind of settlement would come my way. Hint: I don't bug my bank with checks valued in pennies.

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    Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

  13. #13
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    One time I got a check from the IRS for an error they had made. Still have the check for $0.67 as a souvenir. What a joke!! 🤡

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I once got a $5.30 check for jury duty. If only politicians worked that cheap.

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    I purchased a grand total of $19.00 from Digikey & $9.00 from Mouser.
    I am not even going to submit.

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  16. #16
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    Nevetslab sounds like he'll be in on the deal. Not sure it is proper in the legal sense but I would be curious how much anyone in the repair field might acquire from such a lawsuit. Probably have to wait a year or so to find out.

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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    A good point. What about major manufacturers who buy caps by the millions and billions - even if I bought say 10,000 caps in the target time period what kind of settlement would come my way. Hint: I don't bug my bank with checks valued in pennies.
    of course its the Lawyers who get a lot of those half cents!

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  18. #18
    Supporting Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    Having found a break in my maintenance schedule, I compiled a list in Excel listing everything I had purchased from Digi-Key, Mouser, Allied, Newark, CE Distribution between 2009 and 2014. I had also listed all the Tantalum and Ceramic caps purchased during a hydrophone preamp project, but today, had to delete them from the list, as reading thru the lawsuit details, it only covers Aluminum Elecrolytic and Film caps (using mylar or polypropylene). And, it only covers the listed Defendant Manufacturers. So, among my listed purchases, I'll have to go back in and delete parts from Sprague/Vishay, BC/Vishay, Illiinois, F & T, J/J Electronics, CE, Roderstein and a few others, but, I still have racked up around $850 between the film and electrolytic parts purchased over that span.. I'd be surprised if I even was awarded 5% of what was spent, but, not a difficult exercise, since all of the records were in my database (as well as having to go back in with the invoice P/N and load that back into Mouser to find out what the value & type was, since they've stopped providing that detail on their invoices).

    More to follow.........

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  19. #19
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    You're way too good at recordkeeping nevets. I'd have to go thru boxes of paper records. Lucky if I could get it done in a day. And if they demand photocopies of the invoices from Mouser, Newark, DigiKey, CE, Magic etc etc, oy! All that for a sandwich-money reward. I'll buy the lawyers a sandwich instead. Just one though, they'll have to share it. Phooey.

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    Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Well I think the effort might be worth the journey, and the story. I already have sandwich money. I'm following along because it's at least a little entertaining

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    Supporting Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    This past week, I got another reminder notice from Capacitors Indirect Case, which this time had an ID number for me and two dollar amounts that somehow had been arrived at for both Electrolytic and Film Cap purchases. With instructions to cross them out and add the revised totals if I had them. Initially, my edited total had been around $850, but after making further edits on the list, and printing out all of the invoices I had from Mouser and Digi-Key, that total had dropped down to around $520 for Electrolytics and $28 for film caps. I found with the few Digi-Key invoices, they don't specify who the part mfgr is, so I had to go onto their website to find out. Lost a few more parts on my list once I found the mfgrs on the invoice weren't among the qualified mfgrs. Punched & bound the thick pile of pages with Comb Binding and got that in the mail this morning. At least I got it done before the March 20, 2020 deadline. What if anything I get back from all this, we'll see.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevetslab View Post
    What if anything I get back from all this, we'll see.
    Your check for nine cents will arrive shortly, no doubt. Try to ignore the guffaws from bank personnel when you cash it.

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    Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

  23. #23
    Member dugdiamond's Avatar
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    So interested to see the outcome.
    I was sent info to become part of this class action, but the burden of locating all my records just is too overwhelming.
    Kudos to you Nevets!
    Great work and amazing organizational skills with your record keeping!
    Do please keep us up to date, very interested to see how you do.
    The lawsuit isnt just seeking relief from damages but also seeks heavy punitive compensation too....
    Who knows ya might end up with a nice little chunk of change, maybe buy a new piece of test gear?! Maybe a nice Cap analyzer!!!

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugdiamond View Post
    maybe buy a new piece of test gear?! Maybe a nice Cap analyzer!!!
    One hopes But maybe just a Snickers bar


    EDIT: Not that there's anything wrong with a Snickers bar in and of itself

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    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    If nevets aka Mr.Test-gear doesn't already have more than 1 cap analyzer I'll eat my hat.

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    "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    If nevets aka Mr.Test-gear doesn't already have more than 1 cap analyzer I'll eat my hat.
    I may need to post a "hat" recipe in the 'What's for dinner' thread But I doubt it.

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    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

  27. #27
    Supporting Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    Your hat's safe. There's more than one bridge, as well as a network analyzer.

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