RKI, Inc. v. Grimes, 177 F. Supp. 2d 859 (N.D. Ill. 2001)

Key Insight: Court granted emergency motion to compel, requiring defendants to appear for deposition and produce computers for inspection by plaintiff’s computer forensics expert; at subsequent bench trial, in light of defendants’ deletion of data from computers after litigation commenced, repeated defragmentation of hard drives prior to court-ordered inspections, and decision not to offer any testimony to explain same, court drew adverse inference; court awarded plaintiff $100,000 as royalty for defendants’ unauthorized use of trade secrets, and $150,000 in punitive damages for the willful and malicious misappropriation of trade secrets and attempted cover-up

Nature of Case: Manufacturer sued former employee and competitor for misappropriation of trade secrets and related torts

Electronic Data Involved: Software and databases containing sales and customer information

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