by: Mark Becker Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
When Donna Flanagan bought an Apple computer a dozen years ago she paid about $2,000 and was thrilled with the price.
"I thought at the time I was getting an excellent deal," Flanagan said.
What she didn't know at the time was that the company that made the flat screen monitor -- a liquid crystal display or LCD -- and sold it to Apple had agreed with other manufacturers to inflate the prices of those screens, significantly raising the prices of computers and televisions.
"When those companies got together fixed the prices of these products it pretty much controlled the market," said Charlotte attorney James Wyatt who represented Flanagan in a lawsuit against several LCD manufacturers.
Flanagan and more than 50 others signed onto the lawsuit that resulted in the largest class action settlement ever -- $1.1 billion.
Anyone who bought an LCD flat screen in North Carolina and 23 other states between 1999 and 2006 is eligible to claim part of the settlement.
Receipts are not necessary and Wyatt said the size of refunds depends on how many LCD TVs or monitors you bought, but that the claims are expected to start at $25 per purchase and go into the hundreds of dollars.
"We're talking about thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people here in the state," Wyatt said.
Wyatt said South Carolina residents are not eligible because South Carolina does not recognize second-party lawsuits.
The deadline for filing claims is Dec. 6. Click here for more information about the lawsuit.