Class Action Settlement: General Electric to Pay as Much as $20 Million Over Shatter-Prone Microwave Doors
General Electric has agreed to pay consumers up to $300 each over allegations that the doors of certain microwaves are prone to shattering. Preliminarily approved by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea, the settlement, which ends a proposed class action filed in December 2013, covers approximately 68,000 microwaves and could reach more than $20,000,000 in total value. General Electric has not admitted any fault or liability as part of the agreement.
If you owned a microwave made by General Electric, here’s what we know about the deal so far. Keep in mind that since this deal has only received preliminary approval, we still have a little more waiting to do before claims can be filed and money can be sent out.
ClassAction.org will update this page as more information becomes available, so be sure to check back for updates. You can sign up for the ClassAction.org newsletter—featuring news on the latest settlements and case filings affecting consumers across the country—right here.
Am I included in this settlement?
The settlement covers anyone who bought or owned a microwave between January 1, 1995 and January 15, 2020 that:
Microwaves affected by the apparent defect were manufactured between 1995 and 2007.
How much money can I get from the settlement?
Consumers may be able to receive up to $300 each if the glass door on their GE microwave actually broke. Claimants who owned any of the microwave models specified above and did not experience glass breakage may be entitled to $5 in compensation. All claimants may be asked by the settlement administrator for proof.
Settlement money will be sent to consumers either as a check or rebate toward a future purchase. Importantly, the terms of the preliminary settlement do not preclude those who were injured by broken glass from their microwave from pursuing their own injury claims against General Electric.
How do I file a claim?
We’re not quite at that point yet. Given that this settlement has only received preliminary approval, it still has one more hurdle to clear—final approval—in the overall settlement process. Likewise, the deal’s administrators, at this point, have yet to set up any official settlement website offering information for consumers on the deal and how to exactly to file a claim.
When we learn that the website is live, we’ll update this page.
Is ClassAction.org handling the settlement?
No. ClassAction.org does not administer class action settlements. The court has appointed Epiq Class Action & Claims Solutions, Inc. as the company to handle administration of the settlement.
What are some important dates I need to know?
The court has instructed the parties handling the settlement to begin sending out and posting notices on social media no later than March 15, 2020. A settlement website must also be launched by this date.
Those who wish to opt out of or object to the settlement must mail their notices to the settlement administrator postmarked no later than May 14, 2020.
According to court papers, the settlement administrator must have its proverbial ducks in a row—that is, show the court it has complied with sending out notices to consumers and collecting the names of those who’ve opted out of the deal—on or before May 28, 2020.
A final approval hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 23, 2020 in Hartford, Connecticut.
At this time, there is no deadline available by which consumers must have their claims submitted. This particular date will be known once we get a little further along in the process. ClassAction.org will keep you posted.
What led to the settlement?
In December 2013, a North Carolina consumer filed a proposed class action lawsuit in which she alleged four models of General Electric microwaves were defective in that the glass on the microwaves’ doors could shatter. The consumer claimed in the complaint that the apparent defect made the microwaves “unreasonably dangerous and unsuitable for their intended use” and that GE knew or reasonably should have known since at least 2002 that the products were faulty.
According to the suit, although General Electric issued service bulletins to technicians concerning the glass-shattering issue, the company neither issued a recall nor warned consumers about the problem.
The 2013 lawsuit was later merged with a July 2015 case filed over similar claims.
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