If cash is king, Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant Mooty must have felt like royalty on Thursday.

The firm's switchboard was swamped after the Star Tribune reported that the firm is helping buyers of LCD computer and TV screens to claim part of a record $1.1 billion cash settlement for illegal price-fixing by LCD screen manufacturers a decade ago.

By noon Thursday, so many people had called the firm's switchboard about claiming the cash that receptionists gave up counting the number of inquiries, said Alison Buckneberg, a spokeswoman.

"We were shocked at how fast everyone picked up on the news," she said.

To make matters worse, an 800 number designed to help the public didn't work. In addition, many callers didn't understand how to make a claim online, even though that was the only method available.

But that all changed by Thursday afternoon, Buckneberg said. People wishing to make a claim can call 855-225-1886 for help. The law firm has also created a simplified website address -- www.lcdclass.com -- to accommodate online claim filing (click on "file a claim" or "print a claim form" on the left side of the screen.) In addition, callers who aren't comfortable making a claim online will be mailed a physical claim form, she said.

"We're geared up for a lot of calls," Buckneberg said. "A group of people who have been very active in this project since 2007 will help answer questions."

The average consumer may be able to collect $25 to $250 by submitting a list of how many LCD flat-screen laptops, computer monitors or TV sets he or she bought from 1999 to 2006, the law firm said. No receipts or other documents are required. The cash is available to consumers and businesses in Minnesota, 23 other states and the District of Columbia.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553