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Terminating Sanctions Warranted for Willful Spoliation of Evidence

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Columbia Pictures Inc. v. Bunnell, No. 2:06-cv-01093 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 13, 2007) (Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Terminating Sanctions)

The court imposed terminating sanctions and entered default judgment against defendants in this copyright litigation as a result of defendants’ willful spoliation of key evidence.  The court found that defendants had deleted and/or modified relevant TorrentSpy user forums postings, deleted directory headings that referenced copyrighted works, destroyed user IP addresses and withheld the identities and addresses of site moderators.  The court concluded that defendants’ misconduct had “inalterably prejudiced” plaintiffs’ ability to prove their case, and that terminating sanctions were the only effective recourse.

A copy of the decision is available here.