Best Buy Stores, L.P. v. Developers Diversified Realty Corp., 247 F.R.D. 567 (D. Minn. 2007)
Best Buy sued its landlords for fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and declaratory judgment, claiming that they overcharged insurance and maintenance costs for common areas. On September 5, 2007, the magistrate judge ruled on a number of discovery motions filed by the parties. (A copy of the September 5, 2007 Order is available here.) Among other things, the magistrate judge concluded that a database prepared by Best Buy in the case of Odom v. Microsoft Corp. (the "Odom database") was reasonably accessible despite a cost of at least $124,000 to restore the data to searchable form. The magistrate judge found that $124,000 was a reasonable cost considering the potential breach of contract damages exceeding $800,000, the potential for enhanced damages associated with Best Buy’s fraud claims, and the potential long-term economic impact of the outcome of the litigation on all parties. Further, the magistrate judge noted that "discovery in the Odom case is complete [and] the database has … been archived by an e-discovery vendor." Thus, the magistrate judge ordered Best Buy to restore the Odom database to permit discovery by defendants in this case.
Best Buy objected, explaining that discovery in the Odom litigation was not complete, the database had not been archived, and "the data can only be restored from original sources such as backup tapes." Thus, Best Buy argued that the magistrate judge clearly erred in determining that the Odom database was reasonably accessible and ordering its discovery.