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By 20 October 2011 | Categories: news

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Beleaguered Research in Motion’s outage debacle may have passed, but it looks like the Canadian smartphone manufacturer’s woes are far from over.

Law firms in the US and Canada, which were also affected by the service failures experienced by BlackBerry users earlier this month, are apparently exploring the viability of consumer lawsuits being initiated against the company.

According to the International Business Times, law firms are considering launching suits based on breach-of-contract or consumer fraud claims. While a breach in contract claim would be based on the grounds that RIM did not honour its obligations to provide service to its millions of users, a consumer fraud claim would attack whether RIM misled customers about the reliability of its networks.

This latter was strongly hinted at by a former employee of RIM, according to The Guardian, who accused the Canadian smartphone and tablet maker of ignoring problems with its server architecture. This, the same source asserted, could prove the company’s downfall.

Jay Edelson, a partner with the law firm Edelson McGuire in Chicago, added that while “tons of class-action firms are not running to the courthouse steps,” there were definitely consumers motivated to lend their names to the case to make sure these problems don't happen again in the future.

While the US is a legal battleground and subject to the terms agreed to by users in their contract – which may make mass action difficult or impossible, RIM is also facing a potential legal battle on its own home ground in Canada.

According to Canada.com, Paul Battaglia, the managing director of Toronto-based Trilogy Class Actions, confirmed that the company was in discussions with other law firms. Trilogy Class Actions acts as a bridge between consumers and class action attorneys.

Edelson asserted that, according to their investigations, RIM could have prevented the outages from occurring. "They have not come clean about why the outage occurred or what new steps they have in place to prevent similar interruptions in the future," he concluded. At the time of writing, RIM had not released a statement or made comments on potential lawsuits being lodged against it.

In recent news, RIM revealed its next generation BBX platform.

  

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