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Defendant Required to Produce Materials in Electronic Form


In re Air Crash Disaster at Detroit Metro. Airport, 130 F.R.D. 634 (E.D. Mich. 1989)

Defendant aircraft manufacturer produced flight simulator material in hard copy form, and defendant Northwest Airlines moved to compel production of the program and data on computer-readable nine-track magnetic tape. Northwest argued that, without a tape, its expert would be forced to load the material manually onto a nine-track tape, check the input for accuracy, and spend substantial time debugging the program.

The manufacturer argued that it no longer possessed the requested nine-track computer tape. The court adopted the reasoning of Nat’l Union Elec. Corp. v. Matsushita Elec. Ind. Co., 494 F.Supp. 1257 (E.D. Pa. 1980), and ordered the manufacturer to duplicate the program and data onto a tape as requested. It did however, require Northwest to pay all reasonable and necessary costs associated with the operation. 130 F.R.D. at 636.