Finding Defendant “May Have” Caused the Deletion of “Possibly Relevant Emails,” Court Orders Sanctions, Including Payment to Local Bar Association
Pinstripe, Inc. v. Manpower, Inc., 2009 WL 2252131 (N.D. Okla. July 29, 2009)
In this case, defendant Manpower, Inc. (“Manpower”) failed to distribute the litigation hold notice that was provided to it by counsel and failed to monitor compliance with oral instructions to some managers. As a result, “possibly relevant emails were destroyed.” Despite significant efforts, the deleted data could not be recovered from the system. Approximately 700 emails were recovered from their recipients, however, and the emails’ attachments were preserved on “another server.” Plaintiff sought sanctions against Manpower and its counsel. Specifically, plaintiff sought default judgment or an adverse inference instruction. The court denied plaintiff’s motion as to counsel, but agreed that some sanctions were warranted against Manpower. Accordingly, the court’s order allowed plaintiffs to re-open depositions to address the late production and to seek additional relief if the need arose and ordered Manpower to contribute $2500 to the local bar association to support a seminar on litigation hold orders and preservation of electronic data.