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Harke & Clasby Specific Press Release: Morris v. ADT Security Services


Lance Harke and Sarah Clasby Engel of Miami-based Harke & Clasby LLP along with co-counsel, Victor Diaz are Plaintiffs’ Florida counsel in this case that contends ADT was unjustly enriched from its deceptive and unfair trade practices that originated in Florida.

MIAMI – On October 3, 2008 Southern District of Florida Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks denied ADT’s motion for dismissal and found that the plaintiffs had properly alleged a claim under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) along with unjust enrichment. Lance Harke, managing partner and partner Sarah Clasby Engel of the Miami-based commercial litigation law firm of Harke & Clasby LLP, (http://www.harkeclasby.com/) along with Victor Diaz of Podhurst Orseck, are the plaintiffs’ counsel on the nationwide class action suit against defendant, ADT Security Services, a burglar and fire alarm system company with its headquarters in Boca Raton.

“We’re pleased the Court has determined that this case should not be dismissed, and we are looking forward to having this matter heard on the merits,” said Lance Harke.

ADT sells and installs alarm systems, and provides monitoring services for customers throughout the United States. These alarm systems have a back-up component which relies on cellular phones to transmit an alarm in the event that the primary land line fails. It is the cellular-based back-up systems that are at issue in this case.

The complaint alleges that a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2002 determined cellular carriers would no longer be required to maintain analog service lines and ruled that cellular companies were no longer required to continue carrying analog cellular signals. From 2002 to 2006, the alarm systems that ADT sold to customers relied on analog, as opposed to digital, cellular back-up signals for transmission.

Findings from the FCC state that members of the alarm industry have long been aware of the 2002 ruling and the approaching “sunset” date, yet Plaintiffs contend that ADT continued to install analog radio equipment as recently as 2006. In 2007, ADT informed its customers that their cellular systems would stop working properly in February 2008, and urged its customers to pay several hundred dollars in order to upgrade to digital systems. ADT had full knowledge that its analog-based equipment would stop working properly before February 2008, after the “sunset” period had expired.

Plaintiffs argue that because ADT chose to conceal this material fact from customers and then shifted the responsibility to the customer to pay for the upgrade, the plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of individuals and entities across the country have been forced to pay to purchase new equipment or are left with faulty security systems.

Plaintiffs allege that it was in Palm Beach County where ADT’s senior-level management made the decision to conceal the fact that its cellular back-up system would stop working in February 2008. They also contend that ADT generated revenue as a result of this decision, making plaintiffs’ pay ADT for the upgrade. Finally, the plaintiffs in this case contend that ADT was unjustly enriched from its deceptive and unfair trade practices that originated in Florida.


Miami-based Harke & Clasby LLP was established by founding partner and trial lawyer, Lance Harke in 2000. The firm represents clients throughout the state of Florida and in courts across the country in a wide range of commercial law matters related to commercial litigation, business torts, consumer class actions, securities class actions, product liability, insurance litigation, general civil litigation, general commercial litigation, civil appeals, prescription drug issues, employment matters, bad faith issues, professional malpractice, medical malpractice, and appellate practice.

Contact: Kristine Bruner of Pristine Public Relations, (561) 866-7923, or via e-mail at kristine@pristinepr.com for Harke & Clasby LLP.


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Phone: 305-536-8220
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