Archive: April 11, 2011

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Defendant’s Failure to Preserve Results in Sanctions, Including Order for Defense Counsel to Search All of Defendant’s Electronic Media and Hard Copy Files for Responsive Information

Defendant’s Failure to Preserve Results in Sanctions, Including Order for Defense Counsel to Search All of Defendant’s Electronic Media and Hard Copy Files for Responsive Information

Northington v. H&M Int., No. 08-CV-6297, 2011 WL 663055 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 12, 2011); Northington v. H&M Int., No. 08 C 6297, 2011 WL 662727 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 14, 2011)

In this case, plaintiff sought sanctions for defendant’s failure to preserve and resulting failure to produce electronically stored information (“ESI”).  Upon finding that defendant’s efforts to preserve evidence had been “reckless and grossly negligent”, the magistrate judge recommended sanctions, including that defense counsel be required to conduct a thorough search for ESI and hard copy; that the jury be instructed regarding defendant’s failure to preserve; that defendant be precluded from defending itself by asserting an absence of discriminatory statements; and that defendant pay plaintiff’s reasonable costs and fees.  The recommendations were later adopted in full by the District Court.

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