RIM sued over BlackBerry outage
Consumers in the United States and Canada have sued Research in Motion for a days-long BlackBerry outage.
The system-wide failure of the service earlier this month had left tens of millions of frustrated BlackBerry users on five continents without email, instant messaging and browsing.
Research In Motion’s co-CEOs have apologised to millions of BlackBerry customers for the four-day outage and offered a collection of apps as compensation.
RIM failed to compensate BlackBerry users with refunds for loss of service and must take full responsibility for these damages
The US lawsuit was brought in California on behalf of all US BlackBerry owners with an active service agreement at the time of the email, internet and messaging interruptions. It accuses RIM of breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment.
The Canadian lawsuit was brought in Quebec on behalf of all Canadian BlackBerry owners with an active service agreement. RIM failed to compensate BlackBerry users with refunds for loss of service and must “take full responsibility for these damages”, it said.
The US lawsuit was brought by California resident Eric Mitchell. Because of the global service outage that began on 11 October and continued until 14 October, 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.
US plaintiffs are seeking damages including cash compensation for service fees along with attorneys’ fees and legal expenses.
The US complaint estimates that Research in Motion earns at least $3.4 million per day in service revenue, collected from customers through mobile operators. “Plaintiff and the Class ultimately paid these fees,” it said.
The size of the potential class of US consumers would include 2.4 million California residents alone, the lawsuit said.
Messages left with Research in Motion seeking comment were not immediately returned.