Espejo v. Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc., No. 14-000095 HG-RLP, 2014 WL 6634492 (D. Haw. Nov. 21, 2014)

Key Insight: Where plaintiff ran software to permanently erase all information on his computer then drilled a hole in his hard drive and threw it away, and completely erased and reformatted all data on recording device, and most of recordings produced by plaintiff had been edited, all at a time when plaintiff knew he had an obligation to preserve evidence, court found that plaintiff engaged in willful spoliation of highly relevant evidence, that plaintiff acted in bad faith, that defendants were severely prejudiced by the loss of evidence, that less drastic sanctions would not sufficiently compensate for plaintiff’s widespread destruction of evidence and that, given the extensive spoliation of relevant evidence by plaintiff, it would not be possible to fairly evaluate the case on the merits; court concluded that dismissal was the only appropriate sanction

Nature of Case: Retaliation and wrongful termination

Electronic Data Involved: Plaintiff’s personal computer, email, recordings made by plaintiff of his interactions with other employees

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