U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer Grants Preliminary Approval
Stephen M. Garcia served as lead class counsel as well as liaison counsel. In Re Bluetooth United States District Court for the Central District of California CASE NO. C07-1822 DSF MDL No. 1822. Plaintiffs’ case is about the risk that defendants’ products pose to consumers when used in the way the products’ packaging and materials explicitly and implicitly discuss. Plaintiffs do not claim they or the class members have suffered a recognizable physical injury from using the headsets, rather they claim the headsets put them at significant risk for developing life-altering physical injuries. Risk and assessing risk are the scientific cornerstones of governmental regulations designed to protect citizens. These risks can be environmental, occupational or, as here, consumer-related. Risk created by Bluetooth Headsets, and assessing that risk, are likewise the cornerstones of plaintiffs’ case and relief sought. The settlement serves to properly warn and address these risks as well as providing for Cy Pres payments to four national foundations addressing hearing loss.
The American National Standards Institute (“ANSI”), whose stated purpose is to be “the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system” that “empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment” defines risk as: “An estimate of the combination of the likelihood of an occurrence of a hazardous event or exposure(s), and the severity of injury or illness that may be caused by the event or exposure(s).”