TCL Television Class Action Lawsuit Receives Final Approval
by Brian Eckert
A California federal judge has issued a Final Approval Order for a class action settlement against TTE Technology, Inc. over claims that it deceptively advertised certain TCL televisions.
The lawsuit was filed by Milberg attorneys Alex R. Straus, Will Ladnier, Greg Coleman, and Adam A. Edwards. Class members who submitted a claim form by October 7, 2022 are eligible to receive approximately $15 – $40, depending on the number of claims submitted.
What Was This Lawsuit About?
TTE Technology, the maker of TCL TVs, was accused of falsely advertising some of its televisions as having a 120Hz refresh rate (the rate at which a screen can update its pixels and display a new image). A 120Hz refresh rate can update its pixels 120 times per second.
Televisions with a higher refresh rate can present content at a higher frame rate, providing a smoother image with greater detail and reduced latency. A higher frame rate also reduces motion blur.
To remain competitive and stimulate consumer demand, TCL must advertise attractive technical specifications. If consumers were to view TCL TVs as less technologically advanced and choose another brand, it would have a materially adverse effect on TCL’s sales and its financial condition.
Milberg’s lawsuit alleged that TCL claimed its televisions with 60Hz display panels had a 120Hz refresh rate, when in fact they were not 120Hz. Specifically, TCL marketed the technical specifications of televisions with 60Hz display panels as having a “120Hz Clear Motion Index (CMI) effective refresh rate” due to the use of backlight scanning technology.
The lawsuit called this claim “misleading and untrue.” According to the complaint, a 60Hz television “cannot, through backlight scanning, be transformed into a 120Hz television.”
What are the Settlement Terms?
Milberg’s complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 2020. TCL agreed in the summer of 2022 to pay $2.9 million to settle the lawsuit.
The money was placed in a settlement fund and made available to class members who filed a valid claim form by October 7, 2022. Settlement class members include the following:
- All persons who purchased a new TCL television marketed as having a “Hz” rating twice as high as its native panel refresh rate (Hz) in the state of California from April 24, 2016 to December 31, 2021.
Class members were given the choice to “opt out” of the settlement and retain their right to file individual lawsuits against TCL. Anyone who submitted a claim form waived their right to sue TCL for a television Hz marketing representation.
The actual settlement award per class member depends on the number of claims submitted. Initial settlement awards were set at $15/claim but subject to increase up to $40/claim, or decrease, based on the total approved claims.
This Court now gives final approval to the Agreement, and finds that the Agreement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class.
Following a Final Approval Hearing on January 19, 2023, the court issued a Final Approval Order in the case. It states that the settlement is “fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class.” TCL was released from its legal claims by the plaintiff and class members.