Vonage lawsuits: one person's research is another person's fishing expedition

The latest law firm to file a shareholder-driven class action lawsuit against Vonage is Wechsler Harwood. That makes 16.
Written by Russell Shaw, Contributor on
The latest law firm to file a shareholder-driven class action lawsuit against Vonage is Wechsler Harwood. That makes 16.

The New York-based practice describes their grievances against Vonage as stemming from the Internet phone service provider's alleged failure to disclose four key issues and factors. Let's go over each of them. The firm's language is indented, while mine is outdented and bold-faced.

Vonage's technology platform experienced problems carrying telephone data over the networks of certain internet service providers.

Yes, there have been some difficulties, especially with carriage over Comcast. Yet in monitoring the 30,000-member, independently run Vonage Forum, it seems the crescendo of complaints against Vonage-ISP incompatibilities has decreased appreciatively. I must wonder then, if the documentation used for this citation was obtained as a result of research that looked for any Known Issues. May I grant such researchers benefit of the doubt that they didn't check for newer information immediately before they sent their results to the Wechsler Harwood for the drafting of the actual complaints? 

Vonage's voice-over-Internet protocol (``VoIP'') technology did not properly allow facsimile transmissions;

This sounds a little shaky to me. Once again, I go to te Vonage Forum-specifically the Fax-TiVo-Alarms Forum section.  Here, you can find workarounds and plenty of advice for how to work around any fax-over-Vonage-line issues. Listen, man. Anyone who knows anything about technology knows that workarounds are everyday occurrences. Since when are technical conditions that require a workaround actionable in a court of law?

The Company's management team's problematic history, including the fact that Tyco's ADT Security division took $600 million in charges for accounting improprieties while defendant Michael Snyder was President of the division.

Answer me this. Was Mike Snyder ever convicted of anything? Charges with anything? The Feds were plenty busy prosecuting Tyco- don't you think they would have charged him if they suspected something wrong? Without actionable activity, it seems to me Vonage was under no obligation to cite specific details of Snyder's previous executive tenures. 

With respect to customers that opened brokerage accounts and participated in Vonage's Directed Share Program, such individuals were not adequately informed regarding their obligations to purchase allocated shares, specifically, that they were obligated to purchase allocated shares before they received notice that their conditional offers had been accepted, and were led to believe that the IPO would take place later than May 23, 2006.

In my layperson's view, the IPO was specifically written. You can always go back over any document and say, "well, we could have said this better." In my view, though, there may be quite a gulf between conveying information in less than articulately clear terms, and a failure to convey that info clearly.

But what do I know. I'm a blogger, not a lawyer. 

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