Comcast home invasion lawsuit exposes risks for home automation, security service providers

Exposing the possible liability risks for providers of home automation and security services, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is being sued by a Kirkland, Wash., family following a grisly home-invasion incident last year.

Leena Rawat said the Comcast security system installed in her Kirkland home didn't do what the cable company and its systems integrator, Pioneer Cable, promised it would do when two men, allegedly on a "thrill mission" of violence broke through a basement window in September 2013 and attacked her 18-year-old son, nearly killing him.

Rawat's lawyer concedes that Comcast waives such liability in its residential services contracts. But he will now test that clause in court. "If their argument is to be accepted, they could put in empty black boxes throughout the house and say, 'That's your system.' And then something goes wrong, and they say, 'We never promised you it would work,'" said plaintiff's attorney Ken Friedman, speaking to the local NBC affiliate.

Comcast responded with this statement: "We want to take this opportunity to extend our sympathies to the Rawat family. However, after a review of our records, we are confident that our home security system functioned properly."

As FierceCable noted in a 2013 feature story, Comcast has been the cable industry's leader as it goes after a home automation and security market worth as much as $13 billion.

Comcast is particularly bullish on the growth potential, with 41 percent of home automation/security subscribers being classified as new customers, and 64 percent of them ordering multiple services.

Of course, if that market were to suddenly be overrun with litigation and risks, the outlook could change significantly.

For more:
- read this King 5 News story

Related links:
Comcast leads cable's push for cut of $13B home security and automation market
Comcast's Xfinity home automation service draws in triple play customers
Home automation, connected car pushing IoT, but lack of standards stings, execs say

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