Surowiec v. Capital Title Agency, Inc., No. CV-09-2153-PHX-DGC, 2011 WL 1671925 (D. Ariz. May 4, 2011)

Key Insight: Highlighting that a party?s duty of preservation is owed to the court and not to a potential plaintiff, court found that defendant was grossly negligent in its failure to issue a litigation hold or take other efforts to ensure preservation of relevant evidence and ordered an adverse inference; court also found that defendant acted ?willfully in failing to timely and adequately respond to the document requests? where defendant?s search terms were not ?calculated to capture? relevant documents and where a court ordered (re)search resulted in production of thousands of documents only three days before the close of discovery and ordered defendant to reimburse plaintiff for expenses incurred as a result of the misconduct and for the reasonable attorney?s fees spent to challenge the misconduct, prepare for additional depositions, and bring the instant motion for sanctions; court?s opinion specifically declined to hold that a lack of written litigation hold was negligence per se

Nature of Case: Breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, etc. related to purchase of condominium

Electronic Data Involved: Emails, ESI

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