Sony Settles Class Action Lawsuit: Over $1 million in Free Games, Themes and PS+ Discounts Available for Canadians
Back in May 2011, Canadian citizen Natasha Maksimovic filed a class action lawsuit against Sony for the infamous PSN hack that potentially exposed user data to criminals (although nothing ever came of it), as well as the Sony Online Entertainment hack. The lawsuit called for C$1 billion (US$1.04 billion) in damages, with Maksimovic saying: “If you can’t trust a huge multi-national corporation like Sony to protect your private information, who can you trust? It appears to me that Sony focuses more on protecting its games than its PlayStation users.”
The case has now been settled, with the damages coming to around a million dollars in assorted freebies for Canadian gamers.
If you have a Canadian PSN, SOE or Qriocity account, you should have received the below email detailing what you can get for free. However, all the goodies come with a few big catches – The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has to give approval to the settlement, it’s first come, first serve, and you have to post off a form to get it. Those forms are here.
It’s also important to note that if you don’t opt out physically, you are legally bound by this settlement so that you cannot sue Sony over the hack. You can opt out here, but you only have until May 20th.
Despite the settlement, Sony denies any wrongdoing or that it violated any laws. Here’s the full email:
If you had a PlayStation Network account, a Qriocity account, or a Sony Online Entertainment account at any time before May 15, 2011, you could get benefits from a class action settlement.
A settlement has been reached with the Sony Entities in a class action lawsuit about the illegal and unauthorized attacks in April of 2011 on the computer network systems used to provide the PlayStation Network (“PSN”), Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment (“SOE”) services (the “Intrusions”). The settlement provides benefits to eligible Canadian consumers who file a valid claim.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice will have a hearing to decide whether to give final approval to the settlement, so that the benefits can be issued. The included consumers have legal rights and options, such as excluding themselves from the settlement, or alternatively, objecting to and/or submitting a claim for benefits from the settlement.
The Sony Entities deny any claims of wrongdoing in this case, and the settlement does not mean that the Sony Entities violated any laws or did anything wrong.
The Class includes everyone who resides in Canada who had a PSN account, a Qriocity account, or an SOE account at any time prior to May 15, 2011.
WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?
There are various benefits, depending in part on what type of account(s) you had:
Inactive PlayStation Network Accountholders:
If you used any of your PSN accounts any time from January 1, 2011 through May 14, 2011, but you did not use them after that through January 24, 2013 because of the Intrusions, you can get a payment equal to any balance of paid virtual currency in your account wallet if that balance is at least U.S. $2.
Active PlayStation Network Accountholders:
a) If you paid other companies for certain media services that you could not access through the PSN during the PSN outage from April 20 through May 14, 2011, you can get 3 free PS3 themes or a 50% discount on PlayStation Plus for 3 months. Up to U.S. $100,000 in total benefits will be available, on a first-come, first-served basis.
b) If you participated in the PSN “Welcome Back” program that followed the April 2011 service outage, you can get either a free game for your PS3 or PSP, 3 free PS3 themes, or a 50% discount on PlayStation Plus for 3 months. If you did not participate in the PSN “Welcome Back” program, you can submit a claim for two of the above benefits. Up to U.S. $1 million in these benefits will be available, on a first-come, first-served basis; claimants who file claims thereafter can get a 50% discount on PlayStation Plus for one month.
If you were not a PSN accountholder but you had a Qriocity account at the time of the April 2011 service outage, you can get one free month of Music Unlimited.
Inactive Sony Online Entertainment Accountholders:
If you used any of your SOE accounts at any time from January 1 through May 14, 2011, but you did not use them after that through January 24, 2013 because of the Intrusions, you can get a payment equal to any balance of paid virtual currency in your account wallet if that balance is at least U.S. $2.
Active Sony Online Entertainment Accountholders:
You can get a deposit of U.S. $4.50 in “Station Cash” into that account, usable for SOE digital products and services. Deposits will be reduced proportionally if total deposits exceed U.S. $240,000 in benefits.
Identity Theft Reimbursement Claims:
If you incurred out-of-pocket charges due to actual identity theft and submit documentation proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the intrusion(s) directly and proximately caused the identity theft, you can submit a claim for reimbursement up to $2,500. Reimbursements will be reduced proportionally if the amount payable on all valid claims exceeds U.S. $90,000.
For more information, including limitations and conditions on all of these benefits, read the detailed notice at
HOW DO YOU ASK FOR BENEFITS?
Eligible Class Members can call 1-877-389-4482 or go to www.PSN-SOE-CanadaSettlement.com for a claim form, then fill it out, sign it, include the documentation it requires, and mail it to the address on the form. Deadlines to make a claim for benefits will start 60 days after the settlement becomes effective.
DO I HAVE A LAWYER IN THIS CASE?
The Court has appointed Bryan C. McPhadden, McPhadden Samac Tuovi LLP of Toronto, Ontario; Stephen Osborne, Merchant Law Group LLP of St. Catharines, Ontario; Careen Hannouche, Lauzon Bélanger Lespérance Inc. of Montreal, Quebec; and David Assor, Lex Group Inc. of Montreal, Quebec as “Class Counsel” to represent you and other Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.
YOUR OTHER OPTIONS.
If you do not want to be legally bound by the settlement, you must opt out by May 20, 2013, or you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, the Sony companies regarding the legal claims this settlement resolves, ever again. If you opt out, you cannot get any benefits from the settlement. If you do not opt out, you will be able to participate in the settlement if it is approved by the Court. If you do not opt out, you may also object to the settlement by May 20, 2013. The detailed notice explains how to exclude yourself or object.
The Court will hold a hearing in this case, known as Maksimovic v. Sony of Canada Ltd. et al., Court File No. CV-11 425487-00CP, on June 10, 2013, to consider whether to approve the settlement, including Class Counsel fees, costs, taxes and disbursements of U.S. $265,000. You or your own lawyer may ask to appear and speak at the hearing at your own cost, but you do not have to. For more information, go to the website shown above, which has a copy of the detailed notice.
Will you go through this whole hoopla to get the free games? Are you jealous of Canadians? Let us know in the comments below.