Barristers & Solicitors  -  James M. Poyner, Kenneth J. Baxter, Patrick J. Poyner

For Immediate Release

British Columbians sue Sony

(NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C., 22 November, 2004) - Defective Sony wide screen television sets are the focus of a class action lawsuit initiated on behalf of British Columbia consumers.

The action against Sony concerns numerous models of wide screen Rear Projection Cathode Ray Tube televisions and was filed by the law firm of Poyner Baxter of North Vancouver, which works predominantly in the field of class action suits.

Under the Class Proceedings Act of B.C., a case is typically brought on behalf of one individual as “representative of a class.” If certified by the Supreme Court of B.C., all customers who experienced problems with these sets would be automatically included. The person named in the current action paid $2,734, exclusive of sales taxes, for a 46-inch Sony set that proved to be defective.

The problem concerns fixed images carried by most television channels. Many signals now have network or service-provider logos, insignia and other artwork permanently situated on the screen, irrespective of changing scenes of actual programming. Fixed images are also commonly part of video games. With these specific Sony sets, any images left in place tend to become “burned-in” to the screen itself, such that subsequent viewing becomes impaired.

An excerpt from the statement of claim cites:

“The Plaintiff’s Sony RPCRT television and the Class Televisions generally are defective in that their screens are prone to retain images that are steady, constant or fixed. Television networks and cable and satellite service-providers commonly broadcast such images. This defect is known as “image-retention” or “burn-in”...

“As a result of the image-retention. . . the aforesaid horizontal and vertical bars have become permanently visible during the Plaintiff’s viewing of all television and movie programming. Such image retention has interfered with, and impaired the Plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of such television and will continue as such in the future...”

“In its sales brochures, advertisements and other forms of representations to the public, the Defendants made statements that had the capability, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading consumers which constituted deceptive and unconscionable acts...”

Patrick J. Poyner, who filed the action, said the evidence demonstrates that Sony was aware of the potential problem before any of these sets were sold, “but took inadequate steps to properly warn consumers. And, long after customers and retailers reported many of these defective products, Sony continues to deny responsibility, implying that improper use by customers has caused the problem.”

“Sony’s actions were both deceptive and misleading, and we look forward to the opportunity of proving that,” Poyner said.

The complete text of the Statement of Claim can be found at www.poynerbaxter.com. Anyone in B.C. who has experienced these problems with a Sony RPCRTset can register their names in the database at this web address.

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Poyner Baxter, Suite 408 - 145 Chadwick Court
North Vancouver, B.C. V7M 3K1
Telephone: 604.988 6321 Fax: 604.988 3632
e-mail: poyner.baxter@telus.net
web site: www.poynerbaxter.com

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