Microsoft and Danger to blame for Sidekick data loss – lawsuit

Courthouse News has uploaded a copy of a class action lawsuit against Microsoft and Danger Inc. The complaint, filed by Terrence and Katie Teraszcka, Adam Beckelman, and Michael Guerrero in Cook County Court on November 17th, alleges that the defendants negligently failed to back up data before a network upgrade, resulting in Sidekick users losing their important data. The data loss occurred in October 2009.

The lawsuit cites an article by Dan E. Dilger in Roughly Traded Magazine that points the finger at Microsoft by citing a source who implicates Roz Ho of Microsoft:

According to the source, the real problem was that a Microsoft manager directed the technicians performing scheduled maintenance to work without a safety net in order to save time and money. The insider reported:

“In preparation for this [SAN] upgrade, they were performing a backup, but it was 2 days into a 6 day backup procedure (it’s a lot of data). Someone from Microsoft (Roz Ho) told them to stop the backup procedure and proceed with the upgrade after assurances from Hitachi that a backup wasn’t necessary. This was done against the objections of Danger engineers.

”Now, they had a backup from a couple of months ago, but they only had the SAN space for a single backup. Because they started a new backup, they had to remove the old one. If they hadn’t done a backup at all, they’d still have the previous backup to fall back on.

“Anyway, after the SAN upgrade, disks started ‘disappearing.’ Logically, Oracle [software] freaked out and started trying to recover, which just made the damage worse.”

The problem with this report is that is places the blame, not on a complex Oracle deployment, not on bad SAN hardware or a firmware glitch, not a disgruntled employee with inappropriate levels of access to a mission critical service, but squarely upon Microsoft management.

The plaintiffs seek class-action status and economic relief of less than $75,000 per plaintiff.

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