On March 10, 2021, smoke emitted from the OVH data center in Strasbourg. The five-story Strasbourg building housed more than 14,000 servants. The disaster led to the total or partial shutdown of “120,000 services,” according to OVHcloud.
More than a year later, OVHcloud has not officially explained the cause of the fire. A report from the firefighters, released this month, highlights shortcomings in the building’s security system. In particular, the building was not equipped with a cut-off device according to this report: “Sustainability of the electricity supply is a major challenge for this type of operation. The intrinsic design of the activity has been put in place to avoid power outages. Two levels of generating sets are provided to compensate for network failure. There is no emergency separation device (choice of the economic strategy of the company)”.
Firefighters were unable to cut off the electricity either in the room from the flames or on the site, which helped spread the fire.
The firefighters also pointed out the lack of an automated firefighting system, as the site relies on early detection and rapid emergency warning.
Another failure: the fact that the OVH administration did not register the site in the list of institutions listed as sensitive. Finally, having one fire hydrant in this area of the Autonomous Port of Strasbourg.
However, OVHcloud indicated that it will not provide an official statement until it obtains clearance from insurance companies and government agencies.
Ziegler & Associés asserts that OVHcloud was negligent in the areas described in this report and did not provide adequate compensation. The law firm that filed the class action against OVHcloud after the fire in Strasbourg claims it is about to send letters of formal notification. Not all at first, some customers still have to deliver items to it. But by the end of June, everything will be gone.
The class-action lawsuit against the March 2021 OVHcloud data center fire now has 140 clients.
The company estimates damages to its customers at 12 million euros, but has revised that down and is now 10 million euros, or an average of 71,428 euros per company. It should be noted that it amounts to 3.2 million euros for the company that suffered the most damage. An amount (10 million euros) estimated on the condition of amicable negotiation. “If we go to court, this number [quadruple] ‘, due to damages and legal costs, was claimed in Ziegler & Associés.
OVHcloud indicated in its quarterly report that it made €3 million in “gestures of goodwill” (repayment), spent €3 million accelerating the amortization of damaged servers and paid a €2 million insurance premium. The process appears to have gone well. The announcement of the results indicates that sales figures have been calculated “excluding the direct effects of the accident in Strasbourg”. OVHcloud compensated customers for the loss of its services, not for the financial losses they incurred, or damage to their reputation, arguing that the fire was not his responsibility, but a “case of major power”.
Separately, four major companies are suing OVHcloud individually over the fire.
“The official notification letter is an official document claiming from the OVH the damages companies are entitled to claim after this famous fire. This is an effort to reach an amicable settlement,” Ziegler & Co. said.
“The class action remains open, so companies that want to join can do so,” he added – though he previously said the companies had until February 2022 to join, then pushed back the mid-April deadline.
The first letters from the law firm should be sent to OVHcloud this month.
On February 28, the closing date for the first half of fiscal year 2022, the company said it had received 410 complaints and requests for information from customers claiming to be affected. with, in some cases, requests for financial compensation “generally for low individual amounts, or [ ] not encrypted”.
OVHcloud considers most of the companies’ requests to be unfounded and ensures that for most other companies, commercial gestures granted largely compensate for any damage that has occurred. On the date of publishing its financial results, the host identified six cases in the litigation stage. To cover the effects of the claims (costs of expertise and procedures, liability actions), it was allocated, at the last point, 26.4 million euros.
Source: Ziegler & Co