Archive: September 13, 2006

1
Plaintiff’s Misstatements to Court and Failure to Preserve Electronic Financial Records Warrant Ultimate Sanction of Dismissal
2
Court Denies Spoliation Motion and Request for Evidentiary Hearing on Party’s E-Discovery Preservation Methods

Plaintiff’s Misstatements to Court and Failure to Preserve Electronic Financial Records Warrant Ultimate Sanction of Dismissal

Ridge Chrysler Jeep, LLC v. Daimler Chrysler Servs. N. Am., LLC, 2006 WL 2808158 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 6, 2006)

In this opinion (which was issued September 6, 2006, not 2005), the court adopted the Report and Recommendation of the magistrate judge assigned to handle discovery disputes in the case, and dismissed the case with prejudice. One basis for dismissal related to plaintiffs’ failure to preserve and produce financial records stored on computers and misrepresentations about same.

Plaintiffs were two dealerships (“Midlothian” and “Marquette”) that filed a verified complaint alleging that Chrysler persisted in a “shocking corporate policy of blatant racial discrimination and redlining” by refusing to provide financing for African-American customers purchasing cars at the dealerships. Plaintiffs alleged violation of the Automobile Dealers’ Day in Court Act, as well as state law violations of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Franchise Act, tortious interference with prospective business advantage, and breach of contract. Mr. Gerald Gorman was the president and owner of both dealerships, and he personally verified the facts included in plaintiffs’ verified complaint.

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Court Denies Spoliation Motion and Request for Evidentiary Hearing on Party’s E-Discovery Preservation Methods

O’Brien v. Ed Donnelly Enters., Inc., 2006 WL 2583327 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 5, 2006)

In this suit brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, defendants had produced over 8,000 documents consisting largely of plaintiffs’ work schedules and time punch and payroll records, including Time Punch Change Approval Reports (“TPCA Reports”) related to plaintiffs. The TPCA Reports were printed from defendants’ computer system, referred to as the “in-store processor” or “ISP.” The reports were printed automatically by the ISP as part of the closing paperwork each day, and were regularly kept and maintained by defendants as paper files. The information contained in the TPCA Reports was stored in the ISP in electronic form for 72 days. In addition, defendants backed-up the ISP nightly, using one of three rotating backup tapes. Each backup tape contained information for the preceding 72 days. The tapes were overwritten every three days so that, at most, the backup tapes combined contain information for the preceding 74 days. Defendants attested that the tapes were intended solely for disaster recovery.

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