Search and Production Costs of $7,200 Render Non-Party’s Ordinary ESI “Not Reasonably Accessible Due to Undue Burden”
Guy Chem. Co. v. Romaco AG, 2007 WL 1521468 (N.D. Ind. May 22, 2007)
In this breach of contract case, plaintiff Guy Chemical sought damages for, among other things, the loss of business from third parties. Defendant Romaco subpoenaed records from ABRO Industries, Inc., a customer of plaintiff, to learn how much of ABRO’s business plaintiff had lost. Specifically, Romaco sought correspondence, orders, cancelled orders, or orders that could not be filled between Guy Chemical and ABRO. Apparently, most of the requested information was stored electronically by ABRO. ABRO informed Romaco that it used an outside computer firm to handle its electronic data, and that it would have to determine how to search for the records. ABRO subsequently advised Romaco that the final cost for searching and producing the requested records would be $7,200. ABRO did not object to producing the material sought, but requested that Romaco pay the cost of production. Romaco moved to compel, arguing that ABRO was being unreasonable by requiring payment for the cost of production as a condition precedent to production.