Court Orders Preservation of Evidence, Enjoining Former Employees From Wiping Clean Any Computer Hard Drive Containing Relevant Evidence

ACS Consultant Co., Inc. v. Williams, 2006 WL 897559 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 6, 2006)

In this case, plaintiff was in the business of providing information technology and management consultant services, principally to health care providers. Defendants were former employees and a company in which one of the former employees was a principal. After discovering evidence that the individual defendants had violated the terms of their employment contracts, plaintiff terminated them and filed an 11 count verified complaint seeking injunctive and other relief. Plaintiff obtained a TRO enjoining the defendants from violating the terms of their employment agreements, and also sought a preliminary injunction. Following a hearing during which the court took evidence regarding the alleged wrongful acts by defendants, the court granted a preliminary injunction enjoining defendants, among other things:

-from deleting or destroying any of plaintiff’s confidential business information, trade secrets, proprietary information or property;

-from taking any action to delete, destroy, damage or “wipe clean” any computer hard drive, including without limitation their plaintiff-issued laptops and Blackberrys, containing plaintiff’s confidential information or evidence relevant to this case

In addition, the court ordered the defendants to “preserve all evidence, including hard copies, electronic, computer, or any other format, which in any way relates to the claims made in this case.”

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