Insufficient Preservation Efforts Warranted Monetary Sanctions, but not Adverse Inference Instruction
Consol. Aluminum Corp. v. Alcoa, Inc., 2006 WL 2583308 (M.D. La. July 19, 2006)
In this opinion, the magistrate judge considered plaintiff’s motion for sanctions based on spoliation of evidence, and concluded that, although adverse inference instructions were not warranted, defendant’s conduct in negligently failing to preserve electronic evidence “should not go unpunished.” Accordingly, the magistrate ordered that defendant bear plaintiff’s costs for re-deposing certain witnesses for the limited purpose of inquiring into issues raised by the destruction of evidence and regarding any newly discovered emails. The magistrate further granted plaintiff’s request to serve additional discovery relating to the electronic evidence which was not preserved, and awarded plaintiff the reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees incurred in bringing this motion and in investigating and attempting to obtain the discovery at issue.