Archive: December 1, 2016

1
Friedman v. Philadelphia Parking Auth., No. 14-6071, 2016 WL 6247470 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 10, 2016)
2
In re Bard IVC Filters Prod. Liab. Litig., —F.R.D.—, 2016 WL 4943393 (D. Ariz. Sept. 16, 2016)
3
Okada v. Whitehead, No. SACV 15-01449-JLS (KESx), 2016 WL 9448484 (C.D. Cal. June 16, 2016)
4
Colonial Bancgroup, Inc. v. Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP., No. 2:11-cv-746-WKW, 2016 WL 9687001 (M.D. Ala. Jan. 22, 2016)
5
In re Fluoroquinolone Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL. No. 15-2642 (JRT), 2016 WL 4045414 (D. Minn. July 20, 2016)
6
Steward Health Care Sys. LLC v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, No. 15-272, 2016 WL 8716426 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 4, 2016)
7
Lab. Skin Care Inc. v. Ltd. Brands Inc., No. 06?601?LPS, 2016 WL 1266564 (D. Del. Mar. 20, 2016)
8
Melchior v. Hilite Int?l Inc., No. 3:11-CV-3094-M (BH), 2016 WL 1165911 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 26, 2016)
9
Procom Heating, Inc. v. GHP Group, Inc., No. 1:13-cv-00163-GNS, 2016 WL 8203221 (W.D. Ky. July 8, 2016)
10
Ferrara Bros. Bldg. Materials Corp. v. FMC Constr. LLC, 54 Misc.3d 529 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2016)

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

In re Bard IVC Filters Prod. Liab. Litig., —F.R.D.—, 2016 WL 4943393 (D. Ariz. Sept. 16, 2016)

Key Insight: In this case, the parties disagreed on the discoverability of communications between Defendants? foreign subsidiaries and divisions and foreign regulators regarding the filters at issue in the case. Following analysis of the effects of the December 1, 2015 amendments on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and of the specific facts of the case, the court determined that the at-issue communications were ?only marginally relevant? and was persuaded that ?the burden of [the] foreign discovery would be substantial.? Thus, the court concluded that Defendants were not required to search their foreign entities for communications with foreign regulators. In the course of its discussion of the amendments, the court stated: “Amended Rule 26(b)(1) was adopted pursuant to the Rules Enabling Act, 28 U.S.C. ? 2072 et. seq. That statute provides that ‘[a]ll laws in conflict with such rules shall be of no further force or effect after such rules have taken effect.’ Id., ? 2072(b). Thus, just as a statute could effectively overrule cases applying a former legal standard, the 2015 amendment effectively abrogated cases applying a prior version of Rule 26(b)(1). The test going forward is whether evidence is ‘relevant to any party?s claim or defense,’ not whether it is ‘reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence.'”

Okada v. Whitehead, No. SACV 15-01449-JLS (KESx), 2016 WL 9448484 (C.D. Cal. June 16, 2016)

Key Insight: Where Defendant explained that certain emails were not produced because he lost access to the account which subsequently expired and thus the emails were not in his possession custody or control, the court concluded that the duty to preserve was triggered prior to the expiration of the account by the filing of a separate lawsuit involving the same at-issue property in which the parties to this case were codefendants and explained in footnote that it could locate no case law limiting the duty to preserve to an adversary as opposed to all parties to litigation and noted that the duty to preserve ?may carry over to subsequent lawsuits involving the same subject matter?; finding the spoliation was prejudicial but not intentional, the court ordered the jury be informed of the failure to preserve, but not instructed to presume anything about the content of the emails

Nature of Case: Breach of Settlement Agreement

Electronic Data Involved: e-mail

Colonial Bancgroup, Inc. v. Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP., No. 2:11-cv-746-WKW, 2016 WL 9687001 (M.D. Ala. Jan. 22, 2016)

Key Insight: Where plaintiff sought production of specific folders from e-mail inboxes after defendant had already produced e-mails from those custodians as identified by keyword search terms r, the court found the request duplicative and denied plaintiff?s request. Where plaintiff sought to compel additional searches likely to capture information well beyond that to which plaintiff was entitled and resisted a compromise offer of running the searches with restrictive terms designed to weed out irrelevant information, the court granted the request for additional searches but also granted defendant?s request to include limiting terms to restrict the capture of irrelevant data. Where plaintiff requested a sworn affidavit detailing defendant?s litigation hold efforts including the ?specific actions? which hold notice recipients were directed to take and any enforcement efforts, the court agreed with defendant that specific actions and enforcement efforts were subject to attorney-client privilege but directed plaintiff to ?provide this information via ?sworn affidavit? in a manner which, does not invoke the work product doctrine or violate the attorney-client privilege OR to make a specific legal and factual showing [] as to any work product objection or attorney-client privilege claim? and also ordered production of the other requested information, including custodian names and document types subject to the hold.

Nature of Case: Professional Negligence

Electronic Data Involved: e-mail

In re Fluoroquinolone Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL. No. 15-2642 (JRT), 2016 WL 4045414 (D. Minn. July 20, 2016)

Key Insight: Court ruled that defendants may, under the proportionality factors in 26(b)(1), limit their search to databases and central repositories rather than engage in custodial searches for all cases at the Defendant Fact Sheet (DFS) stage of the MDL due to the ?significant burden of the proposed custodial-file searches? and the less-than-certain benefits of such searches.? The Court noted Defendant?s acknowledgement that custodial searches would likely be ?warranted for a narrower group of cases at a later stage? and that plaintiffs were free to seek permission to engage in further discovery if information available in the structured databases was insufficient.

Nature of Case: Products Liability

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

Steward Health Care Sys. LLC v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, No. 15-272, 2016 WL 8716426 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 4, 2016)

Key Insight: Third party objected to Subpoena to produce documents alleging undue burden and significant expense and refused to comply without a cost-shifting order. The Court consequently granted the requesting party?s motion to compel and the third party was ordered to produce all responsive documents by the ?most reasonable and practical method it can procure.? Following production, the third party then sought $30,603.55 in expenses. The Court?s two-prong analysis examined the expenses as to whether they were both reasonable and significant. The Court did not award attorneys? fees because the privilege and confidentiality review was a benefit only to the third party. Partial vendor costs were awarded, namely the amount it would have been had the third party used the vendor suggested by the requesting party and some additional miscellaneous costs were awarded. The Court found a total of $4,072 were expenses that resulted from compliance with the Subpoena and did qualify as ?significant expenses.?

Nature of Case: Antitrust and tort

Electronic Data Involved: Gmail

Lab. Skin Care Inc. v. Ltd. Brands Inc., No. 06?601?LPS, 2016 WL 1266564 (D. Del. Mar. 20, 2016)

Key Insight: Defendants sought to recover costs incurred to scan and convert paper documents into electronic format, Bates stamp and print the documents they produced; as well as costs for taking corporate representative depositions. Plaintiffs objected ?on the basis that more than two-thirds of the production costs?are the costs of making electronic copies and extra paper copies of documents for [Defendants?] own use.? The court found Defendants costs were incurred in order to comply with the production of ESI, and that costs for Bates stamping was ?reasonable and necessary? – as Defendants pointed out ?producing 125,517 pages?without a single identifying number would render such production entirely useless.? Also, Defendants provided sufficient supporting evidence for the costs incurred in making copies of the produced documents. The court granted Defendants? request for costs. Plaintiffs argued the Clerk of Court?s finding that Defendants failed to meet the requirements of Local Rule 54.1(b)(3) regarding deposition costs was correct. This court indicated 28 U.S.C. ? 1920 provides the ?outer bounds? of a courts? discretion in awarding costs, citing the Third Circuit ?deposition expenses, including the costs of deposition transcripts, may be awarded as costs to the prevailing party if the court determines, at the end of the litigation, that the copies were of papers necessary for use in the case.? Finding Defendants? deposition and transcripts were ?at least ?reasonably necessary? as part of their efforts to effectively litigate this patent case,? the court granted Defendant?s request.

Nature of Case: Taxable costs

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

Melchior v. Hilite Int?l Inc., No. 3:11-CV-3094-M (BH), 2016 WL 1165911 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 26, 2016)

Key Insight: Defendant objected to portion of Plaintiff?s bill of costs for electronic data processing, document conversion, exhibit stamping and copy charges. The court sustained Defendant?s objection relating to costs for (i) ?hosting fees, user fees and other miscellaneous database charges? (outside the scope of ?copying or scanning materials?); (ii) converting ESI documents to TIFF format (parties agreed to produce as either native or TIFF files – ?[b]ecause any conversion of the electronic files was the choice of each party,? the conversion was not ?necessarily obtained for use in the case?); (ii) exhibit stamps (not taxable under 1920(4)); (iv) building an electronic database (?steps leading up to the process of copying? do not fall under copying); (v) Plaintiff?s conversion of documents produced to him by the Defendant (?not necessarily obtained?); and (vi) costs of printing electronic documents to paper (for Plaintiff?s convenience rather than necessary). Plaintiff?s recoverable amount was reduced accordingly.

Nature of Case: Taxable costs

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

Procom Heating, Inc. v. GHP Group, Inc., No. 1:13-cv-00163-GNS, 2016 WL 8203221 (W.D. Ky. July 8, 2016)

Key Insight: Where Defendant formulated search terms and identified custodians unilaterally before undertaking its search and where plaintiff suspected the results were insufficient based on both the low volume of information produced and the failure to produce certain expected information (based on third parties? productions), the court considered Defendant?s multiple proposals for addressing the issue and determined that starting again, from scratch, was most appropriate; addressing whether the cost was disproportionate, court declined to characterize the costs as ?additional expense,? reasoning that Defendant ?should have resolved these issues before undertaking its unilateral search?

Nature of Case: Patent infringement

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

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