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1. What is a class action?+

In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “representative plaintiffs” sue on behalf of other people who are similarly situated. This group of people together is referred to as the “class” or “class members.”

A class action allows the courts to resolve the issues for all class members affected, except for those who choose to exclude themselves (opt out) from the class.

2. What is this class action about?+

Class action lawsuits were commenced in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec alleging that the defendants conspired to fix the price of cooling compressors (excluding cooling compressors used in air conditioners). The class actions have settled for more than $4.77 million. The settlements are a compromise of disputed claims and are not an admission of liability.

The following entities were named as Defendants in one or more provinces in the class actions:

Tecumseh Products of Canada Limited
Tecumseh Products Co.
Tecumseh Compressors Company
Danfoss A/S
Danfoss Inc.
Danfoss Commercial Compressors Ltd.
Danfoss Scroll Technologies, LLC
Danfoss Turbocor Compressors, Inc.
Danfoss Compressors LLC
Appliances Components Companies S.p.A.
Panasonic Corporation
Panasonic Canada Inc.
Whirlpool Canada LP
Embraco North America, Inc. and Whirlpool Corporation.

The Defendants are manufacturers of Cooling Compressors or Cooling Compressor Products.

3. Who is affected by this class action?+

This class action applies to all persons in Canada who between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2008 purchased hermetically sealed cooling compressors of less than one horsepower, excluding those used in air conditioners (“Cooling Compressors”) and products containing Cooling Compressors, excluding air conditioners (“Cooling Compressor Products”) in Canada, except the Defendants and certain parties related to the Defendants (“Settlement Class”).

4. What is a cooling compressor?+

A cooling compressor is the component that provides the cooling function in many household and some light commercial refrigerators and freezers. Hermetically sealed cooling compressors of less than one horsepower are included in the settlements, but cooling compressors used in air conditioners are excluded from the settlements.

5. What is a cooling compressor product?+

A product that contains a cooling compressor, including household and some light commercial refrigerators and freezers. Cooling compressors used in air conditioners are excluded.

6. What are the details of the settlements that have been reached?+

The settlements have resolved the litigation in its entirety. Under the terms of the settlements, the following amounts have been paid in exchange for a release against the Settling Defendants and their related entities:

Settling Defendant Group Settlement Amount
ACC* $50,000, plus up to $50,000 towards the cost of notice
Danfoss Flensburg $300,000, plus $100,000 towards the cost of notice and administration
Embraco $1,400,000
Panasonic $2,350,000
Tecumseh $620,000

The settlements were approved by the Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec Courts. The settlements represent a resolution of disputed claims. The Settling Defendants do not admit, and expressly deny, any wrongdoing or liability.

The Danfoss Flensburg, Embraco, Panasonic and Tecumseh settlement amounts (less court-approved counsel fees and disbursements) are to be distributed to settlement class members.

* The ACC settlement funds were used, with approval of the Court, to fund out-of-pocket costs incurred by class counsel during the course of the litigation.

7. Am I eligible to receive money?+

You (individuals, businesses and governmental entities) are eligible to receive money if, between 2004 and 2008, you purchased:

a cooling compressor (defined as a hermetically sealed cooling compressor of less than one horsepower). Cooling compressors used in air conditioners are excluded; and/or
a product that contains a cooling compressor (including household and some light commercial refrigerators and freezers).

You can claim for any brand of cooling compressor product.

8. How much money will I receive?+

Where the Settlement Class Member is able to provide documentation establishing the price of the compressor (whether as a standalone product or a component of another product), the compressor will be valued at that price. In all other circumstances, the compressor will be valued at $50.

After the value of the compressor is established, settlement benefits for each class member will be determined and distributed based on a percentage of that value. This process is described in the distribution protocol. Regardless of the above, all valid claims will be assigned a minimum value of $20*.
This includes end consumers who submit a claim for the purchase of a household refrigerator or freezer.

The Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec Courts approved a protocol for distributing the Net Settlement Amount. A copy of the distribution protocol is available here.

The protocol is designed to compensate direct and indirect purchasers of Cooling Compressors and Cooling Compressor Products in a manner that generally reflects the Plaintiff’s anticipated impact of the alleged price-fixing.

* The Ontario Court may authorize prorated payments of less than $20, if necessitated by the total value of eligible claims.

9. Do I need proof of purchase?+

Proof of purchase is not required unless your request for payment is selected for a review. If your request for payment is selected for verification, you will be required to provide proof of purchase.

If reviewed, Class Members shall prove their Compressors and/or Compressor Product Purchases in the following manner:

A. By providing the following documentation of their Compressors and/or Compressors Product purchases:

  • sales information as provided by the Defendants where applicable;
  • invoices;
  • receipts;
  • purchase records;
  • historical accounting records; or
  • comparable verification that is acceptable to the Claims Administrator;

B. Alternatively, by including a declaration together with the following documentation of their Compressors and/or Compressors Product purchases:

  • delivery or packing slips;
  • credit card statements;
  • bank statements;
  • cancelled cheques;
  • wire transfer confirmations;
  • proof of product registration;
  • rebate documents;
  • warranty documents;
  • serial numbers;
  • repair invoices; or
  • comparable verification that is acceptable to the Claims Administrator.

10. Does it cost anything to request a payment?+

No, it does not cost anything to request a payment. Counsel fees have been paid out of the settlement funds.

11. How do I request a payment?+

A request can be submitted here, by filling out the online claim form. If you do not have internet access, call the claims administrator at 1-866-432-5534.

12. What date must I request my payment by?+

Requests for payment must be submitted by August 11, 2016.

13. How do I know my claim was submitted?+

Immediately following submission of your claim, a page will display "Your submission was successful. Your Claim ID is: ######"

You will also be sent confirmation of your claim by email to the email address you have provided in your claim.

If you do not get this message, please confirm that you have filled in all the required information. There will be red text on the form anywhere that information is missing. If you are still unsure whether your claim was submitted, call us at 1-866-432-5534 or email us at compressors@ricepoint.com.

14. When will I receive my money?+

Accurate processing takes time. Depending on the number of applications filed it could be up to one year before you receive compensation. Please check this site regularly for updates.

15. Who has access to my information?+

Your information is protected by privacy laws and stored using a secure site. Only the court-approved Claims Administrator (RicePoint Administration Inc.) and the lawyers representing the class (see FAQ 16 below) have access to your information. We can only use it for the purpose of this class action or as you otherwise agree. For instance, if you mark “I want to receive emails about other similar class actions” on the claim form, we will keep your information to use in other, similar class actions where you may have a claim.

The defendants do not have access to the list of class members who have made a claim nor to any of your information.

More information about the Claims Administrator is available by clicking here.

16. Who are the lawyers representing me?+

The law firms of Harrison Pensa LLP and Siskinds LLP represent Settlement Class Members in Ontario and in all provinces other than British Columbia and Quebec.
Siskinds LLP can be reached at 1-800-461-6166 ext. 2446 or coolingcompressors@siskinds.com
Harrison Pensa LLP can be reached at 1-800-263-0489 ext.775 or jforeman@harrisonpensa.com.

The law firm of Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman (“CFM”) represents Settlement Class Members in British Columbia.
CFM can be reached at 1-800-689-2322 or compressors@cfmlawyers.ca.

The law firm of Bouchard Pagé Tremblay Avocats  represents individuals and corporations of 50 or less employees who are Settlement Class Members in Quebec.
Quebec class counsel can be reached at 1-855-768-6667 or brianagarneau@bptavocats.com.

The lawyers have been paid from the settlement funds in an amount approved by the court. You will not need to pay any legal fees out of your own pocket.

17. What if I still have questions?+

We would be pleased to answer them and help you. Please call us at 1-866-432-5534 or e-mail us at compressors@ricepoint.com.