RIM hit with consumer lawsuits over BlackBerry outage

Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:14pm IST

A person uses the new Blackberry Bold 9900 at a release party to promote the BlackBerry OS 7 devices in Toronto August 3, 2011. Consumers in the United States and Canada have sued Research in Motion for a days-long service outage on BlackBerry devices that rippled across the world earlier this month. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files

A person uses the new Blackberry Bold 9900 at a release party to promote the BlackBerry OS 7 devices in Toronto August 3, 2011. Consumers in the United States and Canada have sued Research in Motion for a days-long service outage on BlackBerry devices that rippled across the world earlier this month.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch/Files

Related Topics

Reueter - Consumers in the United States and Canada have sued Research in Motion for a days-long service outage on BlackBerry devices that rippled across the world earlier this month.

The system-wide failure of the service had left tens of millions of frustrated BlackBerry users on five continents without email, instant messaging and browsing.

Research In Motion's co-CEOs had apologized to millions of BlackBerry customers for the four-day outage that tarnished the company's image and set back its drive to catch up with Apple and other smartphone rivals.

The U.S. lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in federal court in Santa Ana, California, was brought on behalf of all U.S. BlackBerry owners with an active service agreement at the time of the email, internet and messaging interruptions.

It accuses Research in Motion of breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment.

The Canadian lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in Quebec Superior Court, was brought on behalf of all Canadian BlackBerry owners with an active service agreement.

Research in Motion failed to compensate BlackBerry users with refunds for loss of service and must "take full responsibility for these damages," it said.

Messages left with Research in Motion seeking comment were not immediately returned.

The U.S. lawsuit was brought by Sherman Oaks, California, resident Eric Mitchell. While Mitchell did not sign a service contract directly with Research in Motion, he paid the company fees for BlackBerry device through a mobile carrier Sprint, the complaint said.

He therefore had an "implied contract" with Research in Motion, it said.

Because of the global service outage that began on Oct. 11 and continued until Oct. 14, Mitchell was unable to use emails and other communications "in real-time, without delay, reducing and interfering with his productivity and causing him damage and loss of money," the lawsuit said.

Mitchell "paid for a service he did not receive," it said.

U.S. plaintiffs are seeking damages including cash compensation for service fees along with attorneys' fees and legal expenses.

The U.S. complaint estimates that Research in Motion earns at least $3.4 million per day in service revenue, collected from customers through carrier networks including Sprint and Verizon. "Plaintiff and the Class ultimately paid these fees," it said.

The size of the potential class of U.S. consumers would include 2.4 million California residents alone, the lawsuit said.

The case is Eric Mitchell, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Research In Motion LTD, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, case no. CV11-8872

(Reporting by Moira Herbst; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Modi In Japan

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Book Talk

Book Talk

Reema Abbasi and a glimpse of Pakistan’s Hindu past  Full Article 

Coal Block Scam

Coal Block Scam

Govt urges Supreme Court to not cancel some 'illegal' coal mines.  Full Article 

Market Pulse

Market Pulse

Nifty surges past 8,000 to record high.  Full Article 

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan Protests

Pakistani protesters clash with police, soldiers secure state TV.  Full Article 

McCarthy Marries

McCarthy Marries

Actress Jenny McCarthy marries pop star Donnie Wahlberg  Full Article 

U.S. Open

U.S. Open

Federer marches on as wild weather, upsets hit U.S. Open   Full Article 

New iPhone

New iPhone

New Apple iPhone to have "mobile wallet" function - Bloomberg.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage