RIM hit with consumer lawsuits over BlackBerry outage

Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:33am EDT
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By Moira Herbst

(Reuters) - 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.   Continued...

<p>Blackberry smartphones are pictured in this illustration photo taken in Berlin October 13, 2011. REUTERS/Michael Dalder</p>