Palm and US mobile network provider Sprint are facing legal action from a single user who claims that the two companies are responsible for the loss of personal data from his Palm Pre.
Palm faced a backlash in November after it admitted a small group of Pre users had been experiencing problems with their cloud computing-based back-up system, called the Palm Profile.
Users were apparently unable to transfer their personal data, including contacts and memos. The data had been stored on one Palm device running the webOS platform and was supposed to be transferred to another Pre.
The Palm Profile service relies entirely on a remote back-up system which runs daily to ensure that data is protected. There is no option for users to back-up their data to a local PC.
The lawsuit has been filed by Jason Standiford of San Francisco, California. Mr Standiford claims that he returned his Pre to a Sprint outlet store due to a defect and expected to have a working device returned to him, complete with all of his backed-up contacts.
Mr Standiford claims that the replacement Pre that he synchronised with his Palm Profile could only retrieve four contacts in total, effectively erasing the hundreds that he had previously stored on his faulty device. Memos and bookmarks were also all but gone, he has stated.
The following day Mr Standiford returned to the Sprint outlet and discovered that they still had his original, defective Pre. An attempt to restore the contacts from this device resulted in the permanent deletion of all of his personal data.
The allegations continue and according to the suit, a final attempt to restore the data by Sprint was only partially successful, still leaving much of the plaintiff's personal data unaccounted for.
A total of 50 individuals, along with manufacturer Palm and network Sprint, are implicated in the lawsuit, charged with contract violations and negligence of duty.
It is claimed that both firms attempted to cover up the existence of problems with the Palm Profile service while simultaneously failing to put in place proper contingencies to prevent such data losses from occurring.
Attorneys acting on behalf of Mr Standiford are prepared to bring the lawsuit as a class action to represent the many customers who rely on the Palm Profile service to back-up their data.
Both Palm and Sprint have declined to comment publicly on the lawsuit at this time.