CHICAGO (Reuters) - A settlement between mobile phone users and companies that charged them for downloaded ringtones and games they thought were free was approved by a court on Tuesday.
Each approved claimant will have the option to receive either a cash award or a refund of $10, out of a total settlement fund capped at as much as $63 million, according to court documents.
The settlement, approved by Judge Sophia Hall of Cook County Chancery Court in Chicago, settles some 30 class-action lawsuits over the improperly charged downloads.
Claim forms and other information on the case can be found at www.mobilecontentsettlement.com/index.html.
The three representatives for the plaintiffs — Susan Paluzzi, Grace Picicci and Patricia Vernon — will share a $35,000 award, and attorneys could end up with $11.4 million, according to court documents.
The defendants contributing to the settlement include Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Sony Pictures subsidiary 2WayTraffic Mobile USA Inc, MBlox Inc, CellCo Partnership, Emexus Americas Inc, Dada USA Inc, Dada Mobile Inc, Dada Entertainment LLC, Lavalife LLC, Mobile Entertainment Inc, Playphone Inc, SendMe Inc, SJA Mobile LLC, Dada S.p.A subsidiary UPOC Networks, UPOC Inc, and W31 Mobile LLC.
The court case in Cook County is 07-CH-37213. A related Fulton County, Georgia, case is McFerren v AT&T Mobility LLC, 2008-CV-151322.
Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by Gary Hill