BlackBerry and some key executives are facing allegations they misled investors on the state of the company’s future, and how its BlackBerry 10 would fare against competitors.
A class action lawsuit filed by one BlackBerry shareholder claims leaders of the Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker failed to tell investors that “the company was not on the road to recovery and reemerging as a lead player in the wireless communications industry.”
“In reality, the BlackBerry 10 was not well-received by the market,” said the lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan court by shareholder Marvin Pearlstein on Friday.
The class action suit seeks to represent “thousands” of shareholders who purchased BlackBerry stock from Sept. 27, 2012 to Sept. 20 of this year, a period in which it alleges executives misrepresented the state of BlackBerry’s operations.
Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are chief executive Thorsten Heins and chief financial officer Brian Bidulka.
None of the allegations have been proven in court, and a representative for BlackBerry declined to comment, saying the company is "reviewing the matter."
Last month, BlackBerry disclosed that it would book nearly a billion dollars in losses related primarily to the writedown of unsold BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen smartphones, and also lay off about 40 per cent of its employees in an effort to reduce costs.
The court filings outline numerous news releases issued by BlackBerry , as well as cite quarterly conference calls where it alleges executives “deceive the investing public.”
The lawsuit claims that the recent tumble in BlackBerry stock was a direct fallout from the executive’s misrepresentation of BlackBerry’s financial state.
“The timing and magnitude of BlackBerry’s stock price decline negates any inference that the loss suffered by the plaintiff and the other class members was caused by changed market conditions, macroeconoimc or industry factors,” the lawsuit alleges.
Since Sept. 20, when the company first disclosed the massive loss and layoffs, BlackBerry’s share price has tumbled 25 per cent on the NASDAQ in New York.
BlackBerry has faced numerous other class action lawsuits in the past.
In 2011, a U.S. judge threw out a suit claiming executives of the company, then known as Research In Motion, misled investors on its financial condition and the prospects of its devices, which included the failed launch of its PlayBook tablet. The case is being appealed by the plaintiffs.
Another class action lawsuit was filed the same year by Montreal-based law firm Consumer Law Group Inc. seeking refunds for the downtime caused by a massive BlackBerry service outage.
You Have To Respond... Immediately
If an unanswered texts or emails gets your heart rate going, there's a good chance that your smartphone is adding stress to your life rather than making it easier. Constantly interrupting what you're doing -- whether it's writing a college essay or spending some quality time with your friends -- to check your phone might be an indication that your behavior has become compulsive. When you start getting anxious about your inbox, take a moment to step back and remind yourself that it's probably not as urgent as it seems. Sleeping with your phone away from your bed and keeping it in your backpack instead of your pocket during class can also gradually help to lessen your urge to be constantly checking for new messages.
You Have Phantom Cellphone Syndrome
You could’ve sworn you felt your phone vibrating in your back pocket, but when you took it out, you saw that nothing had happened. <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227184/Cellphone_vibration_syndrome_and_other_signs_of_tech_addiction" target="_blank">Phantom cellphone vibration syndrome</a> is a real sign of technology addiction -- and it's more common than you might think. A study conducted at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne found that a whopping<a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563212000799" target="_blank"> 89 percent</a> of undergrads had experienced feeling nonexistent cellphone vibrations.
You Have A Bad Case Of FOMO
Are you constantly thinking about what everyone else is doing and all the things you might be missing out on at any given moment? Does scrolling through party photos and enthusiastic weekend updates on your News Feed make you feel sad or anxious? Well, there's a name for that: FOMO. It's not uncommon for ocial media and smartphone users to experience a "fear of missing out" when they're unable to get to their phones or when they're getting updates about all the exciting things that everyone in their social network is doing. The best way to combat FOMO is to step back and say no sometimes, and just take sometime to do whatever <em>you </em>want -- not what other people are doing or telling you to do.
You're Not Paying Attention To Your Friends & Family
We've all be there -- you're having dinner with friends or family with your phone sitting next to your plate, and instead of ignoring it, you turn your attention away from the conversation to respond to a text. While there's nothing wrong with picking up important calls or excusing yourself to answer messages when necessary -- but if you make a habit of giving only half your attention to the people you're with while the other half is busy checking Twitter, it might be time to rethink your phone habits. To avoid damaging your relationships, make a resolution to give your full attention to whoever you're with in person and save the screen time for later.
You Feel Restless When You're Away From Your Phone
If you experience withdrawal when you can't check your phone or respond to messages, you might have a technology addiction. <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8235302/Facebook-generation-suffer-information-withdrawal-syndrome.html" target="_blank">Studies have found</a> that turning off their phones can induce physical and mental withdrawal symptoms similar to those exhibited by drug addicts. If you feel yourself becoming nervous and antsy when you're away from your phone, take note of those feelings and find a coping mechanism -- taking deep breaths, going for a walk or exercising could help you get past the anxiety.
Poor Performance In School
If you're having an increasingly difficult time focusing in class and eagerly await the ringing of the bell so that you can check your phone and return that unanswered text, an Internet or smartphone addiction <a href="http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cpb.1998.1.237" target="_blank">may be partially to blame</a> for low grades. Although there may be many factors at play in decreasing academic performance, constant distraction and excessive time spent on your smartphone can easily interfere with your schoolwork. If the lure of your phone is too powerful for you to concentrate on homework,<a href="http://mashable.com/2012/01/03/block-internet-distractions-apps/" target="_blank"> try downloading an app </a>that blocks social media activity and online distractions.