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Pentax may sue for damages from Matsushita plant fire

Posted: 31 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Masushita plant fire? Li-ion battery factory? monetary damages suit?

Japanese camera maker Pentax Corp. may seek monetary damages from Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., after a fire at the latter's plant had caused Pentax to push the scheduled launch of its new digital camera beyond the lucrative holiday season.

According to an AP report quoting a company spokesperson, Pentax is reviewing the full extent of the fire's effect on its business, and is considering seeking damages from Matsushita Battery. The damages could come from the cost of finding another supply of battery components for the new digital camera, as well as losses from its delayed launch.

Pentax last week announced it had postponed the new camera's launch from early November to early February, because it was unable to procure enough Li-ion batteries since the plant fire.

Production at Matsushita Battery's main factory in Osaka has been completely stopped since a fire broke out Sept. 30 in one section of the plant. The stoppage has caused a major disruption in battery supplies at parent company Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which is replacing 46 million cellular phone batteries used in Nokia Corp.'s handsets due to overheating risks.

Matsushita Battery has been trying to make up for part of the lost output by boosting production at other plants in Japan and China.

Matsushita Electric and Matsushita Battery said in an Oct. 29 joint statement that plant facilities that have been inspected by the local department will resume operations Nov. 1.

Matsushita Electric is the maker of Panasonic-brand products.

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