Archive: March 27, 2008

1
4th Annual Life Sciences Counsel Guide to Document Management, E-Discovery, and Litigation Readiness
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Federal Court Allows Plaintiff to Amend Complaint to Assert State Law Spoliation Cause of Action Based on Defendant’s Failure to Implement Litigation Hold

4th Annual Life Sciences Counsel Guide to Document Management, E-Discovery, and Litigation Readiness

Monday & Tuesday, March 31 & April 1, 2008
Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel
569 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022

K&L Gates partner David R. Cohen is a co-chair of this informative two-day conference.  He and K&L Gates partner Martha J. Dawson will be among those presenting and participating on panels, offering practical advice on records management, e-discovery and litigation readiness issues relevant to the life sciences industry.  Click here for additional information, or to register.

Program Overview:

The life sciences industry is particularly vulnerable to the inherent risk that arises out of improper management of electronic documents and e-discovery.  Taking into consideration the numerous regulatory and compliance requirements of the industry, the voluminous amount of electronic information that is consistently created and stored, and the pervasive litigation that surrounds the life sciences industry, companies must adopt proactive document management and e-discovery policies they can strategically implement and effectively enforce across the company.

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Federal Court Allows Plaintiff to Amend Complaint to Assert State Law Spoliation Cause of Action Based on Defendant’s Failure to Implement Litigation Hold

Ed Schmidt Pontiac-GMC Truck, Inc. v. DaimlerChrysler Motors Co., LLC, 538 F. Supp. 2d 1032 (N.D. Ohio 2008)

In this case, an automobile dealer brought suit alleging that DaimlerChrysler had breached a settlement agreement when it refused to grant the dealer a Chrysler franchise.  During the two years of discovery that followed, Schmidt alleged that DaimlerChrysler knowingly and intentionally destroyed relevant evidence.  Specifically, Schmidt alleged that DaimlerChrysler failed to implement a litigation hold to prevent the destruction of evidence after the complaint was filed in October 2004, and replaced or altered certain employees’ hard drives days before Schmidt made forensic images of the drives as part of its discovery process.  Further, Schmidt alleged that DaimlerChrysler attempted to hide the extent and significance of its misconduct.  As a result, Schmidt sought to add a spoliation of evidence claim to the litigation.

The court observed that, under Ohio law, the elements for a spoliation of evidence cause of action are:

1) … pending or probable litigation involving the plaintiff; 2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that the litigation exists or is probable; 3) willful destruction of the evidence by the defendant designed to disrupt the plaintiff’s case; 4) disruption of the plaintiff’s case; and 5) damages proximately caused by the defendant’s actions.

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