(Reuters) – A US judge rejected Monday's BlackBerry Ltd's bid to dismiss a lengthy lawsuit, claiming that it deceived shareholders by inflating the success and profitability of their BlackBerry 10 smartphones and said the class action could go to trial this fall.
U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon of Manhattan said that "genuine material facts issues" remained in dispute in the more than eight-year-old case, including BlackBerry's report, and that "battle-of-the-expert" – questions prevented her from judging for one side or the other.
While the BlackBerry 10 received rave reviews from critics, the public preferred Android-based smartphones and Apple Inc.'s iPhone, which eventually led to BlackBerry's 201
The shareholders were accused. Waterloo, the Ontario-based company that now focuses on cybersecurity, to hide BlackBerry 10's real sales opportunities in public statements in 2013, resulting in an inflated stock price.
Judge McMahon said that although criminal trials will take precedence before civil proceedings. in her courthouse during the covid-19 pandemic, she would "prioritize" the BlackBerry case because of its age.
The judge said her "best guess" was that a trial could begin in September or October.
BlackBerry and its lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The shareholders' lawyers did not immediately respond to similar inquiries.
Other defendants include former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, former CFO Brian Bidulka and former chief legal officer Steve Zipperstein. against them.
The case is Pearlstein v. BlackBerry Ltd., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-07060.