Domanus v. Lewicki, No. 08 C 4922, 2012 WL 3307364 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 13, 2012)

Key Insight: Where defendant?s breached their duty to preserve by discarding a hard drive belonging to defendant in the midst of discovery and where their ?story? of what happened to the drive (including claims that it was taken to the Apple Store for repairs) did not ?add up?, the district court found the magistrate judge?s failure to find that defendant?s acted in bad faith ?clearly erroneous? and that a finding of bad faith would allow prejudice to be presumed such that allowing but not requiring the jury draw a negative inference was ?insufficient;? as a sanction, the district court ordered that defendants obtain all relevant emails from their email service providers and precluded defendants from using as evidence any of the documents culled from the drive ?before they destroyed it?

Electronic Data Involved: Hard drive

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