Research In Motion’s Annual General Meeting for shareholders is approaching tomorrow. Some security experts warn that RIM may face a series of lawsuits from shareholders for the second delay of BlackBerry 10. “They’re going to get sued and they should get sued because I think a closer look at the record is likely to unearth knowing and willful misrepresentation,” said Jean-Louis Gassée, the former president of Apple’s products division and the founder of the software maker Be, who is now a venture capitalist and blogger in Palo Alto, Calif. “When the C.E.O. says there’s nothing wrong with the company as it is, it’s not cautious, it doesn’t make sense.”
Though, RIM has formally stated that they did not mislead investors. “RIM is well aware of its disclosure obligations under applicable securities laws and is committed to providing a high level of transparency, as evidenced by RIM’s decision to issue an interim business update on May 29, 2012, to alert shareholders that it expected to report an operating loss,” the company said.
If a shareholder class action lawsuit did take place, it would have to prove that RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins and others within RIM knew the second delay would happen meanwhile continuing to claim its development and progress were on track. “There’s a high risk of litigation here,” said James D. Cox, a law professor at Duke. “The outcome of the litigation would be hard to predict.” Professor Cox said RIM might be able to avoid shareholder litigation for another reason: the company is in bad shape. Many lawyers, he said, may be unwilling to embark upon such a case because there is no guarantee that RIM would be around when it was resolved.
Do you think RIM willfully misled investors? Show shareholders sue for the BlackBerry 10 delay?