Archive: August 19, 2011

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Court Declines to Excuse Production where Party’s Negligent Failure to Preserve Rendered Data “Less Accessible”

Court Declines to Excuse Production where Party’s Negligent Failure to Preserve Rendered Data “Less Accessible”

United States v. Universal Health Servs., Inc., No. 1:07cv000054, 2011 WL 3426046 (W.D. Va. Aug. 5, 2011)

Here, the Commonwealth sought to avoid producing allegedly inaccessible information.  The court declined to excuse production, reasoning in part that it was the Commonwealth’s own “negligent failure to take steps to adequately preserve information” which rendered the information "less accessible."  Instead, the court indicated that it would order the backup tapes and forensic images be produced to defendants “for use by a commercial vendor” to retrieve the information “in a format usable by the Commonwealth” and that defendants would bear the costs, subject to a motion seeking reimbursement.

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