Friedman v. Philadelphia Parking Auth., No. 14-6071, 2016 WL 6247470 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 10, 2016)

Key Insight: Where Defendant failed to preserve relevant evidence for reasons including its failure to timely issue a litigation hold following receipt of a letter threatening litigation and its lack of understanding related to the migration of its data to a new archival system resulting in the loss of ESI (e.g., Defendant was notified of but failed to address an ?over limit folder problem? related to two custodians, failed to confirm that data had successfully migrated before instructing employees to delete information ,etc.) but where Defendant undertook SUBSTANTIAL efforts to address its discovery defects and Plaintiff was unable to identify any specific information that was lost (where much was received from third parties or eventually produced as a result of Defendant?s remedial efforts) or to establish an intent to deprive, the court declined to impose sanctions pursuant to recently amended Rule 37(e); instead, pursuant to Rule 37(a) the court ordered Defendant to reimburse Plaintiff?s reasonable attorney?s fees and expenses necessary to prepare and file their motion for sanctions; regarding Defendant?s lack of a document retention policies and potential loss of data before implementation of its archive after its duty to preserve was triggered, the court indicated that prejudice was ?speculative? but invited a motion from Plaintiff for ?evidentiary rulings? if desired

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