Did fraud precede sunset?

ADT AMPs lawsuit allowed to proceed
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Monday, December 1, 2008

BOCA RATON, Fla.--A Florida federal court in October allowed a lawsuit related to the AMPS sunset to proceed against ADT.

The proposed class action suit, originally filed in October 2007, alleges that ADT violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, saying that ADT sold and installed analog alarm equipment “without notifying those customers that its equipment would cease to function after Feb. 18, 2008. ADT intentionally concealed from consumers the material fact that it knew its equipment would stop working on Feb. 18, 2008.”

The latest development occurred on Oct. 6 when the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division court denied ADT’s motion to dismiss the suit.

Sarah Engel, a partner with Harke and Clasby of Miami, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said, “we’ve overcome a major roadblock in the case and we look forward to having the case heard on its merits.” The judge now needs to decide whether the case will get class-action status. Engel said she expects word on this issue “within the next few months.”

Ann Lindstrom, ADT director of communications, said that ADT does not comment on pending litigation and noted, “ADT has complied with all applicable laws and regulations and is awaiting rulings on motions pending with the court, including a motion for summary judgment and a motion seeking denial of class certification.”

Gray Finney, former general counsel for ADT and an attorney with Finney Law Firm of Mobile, Ala., which specializes in security industry matters, told Security Systems News that “in my opinion this is a serious case for ADT and potentially the industry at large,” but added, “I think ADT is in a stronger position than the plaintiff.”

In a nutshell, he said, “the plaintiffs argue that technology resellers such as ADT must possess clairvoyant abilities with respect to future technological developments and must warn consumers of the obvious fact that today’s technology might be less valuable tomorrow, next year, or even five years from now. Further, the plaintiffs argue that any failures by such technology resellers to possess these clairvoyant abilities with respect to future technological developments and disclose future technological changes are ‘deceptive, unfair and unjust,’ even when the changes are made beyond the technology reseller’s control by third-parties such as the cellular carrier industry.”

class-action status. Engel said she expects word on this issue “within the next few months.”

Ann Lindstrom, ADT director of communications, said that ADT does not comment on pending litigation and noted, “ADT has complied with all applicable laws and regulations and is awaiting rulings on motions pending with the court, including a motion for summary judgment and a motion seeking denial of class certification.”

Gray Finney, former general counsel for ADT and an attorney with Finney Law Firm of Mobile, Ala., which specializes in security industry matters, told Security Systems News that “in my opinion this is a serious case for ADT and potentially the industry at large,” but added, “I think ADT is in a stronger position than the plaintiff.”

In a nutshell, he said, “the plaintiffs argue that technology resellers such as ADT must possess clairvoyant abilities with respect to future technological developments and must warn consumers of the obvious fact that today’s technology might be less valuable tomorrow, next year, or even five years from now. Further, the plaintiffs argue that any failures by such technology resellers to possess these clairvoyant abilities with respect to future technological developments and disclose future technological changes are ‘deceptive, unfair and unjust,’ even when the changes are made beyond the technology reseller’s control by third-parties such as the cellular carrier industry.”