A proposed settlement to a lawsuit against Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway could cost Fujitsu $42.5m to satisfy claims that the company's hard drives were unreliable.
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The class-action lawsuit was filed last year in California. Plaintiffs claimed that Fujitsu's 3.5-inch integrated drive electronics hard drives used a defective chip, and that Fujitsu and the other PC companies misled customers about the viability of those products.
Fujitsu's MPG3 series and MPF3 series hard drives are affected by the lawsuit.
The defendants in the case deny all the claims, but are settling the case to stave off further litigation costs.
Under the terms of the settlement, users who purchased the Fujitsu drives either as a boxed product or in PCs from HP or Gateway will receive up to $45 per hard drive if they have documentation showing they incurred expenses in replacing the drive. Users who have a Fujitsu drive and wish to replace it are also eligible to participate.
If users lost data because of a faulty hard drive, and can demonstrate they incurred costs in trying to recover that data, they can receive up to $1,200 or the cost of the recovery, whichever is less.
Customers who think they might be entitled to participate in the class action can visit http://www.hddclassactionsettlement.com to find out more information about the proposed settlement, or to download a free utility to check if their hard drive is one of the models covered by the settlement.
A hearing will be held in March to finalise the settlement.
Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service