Key Insight: Addressing motion for sanctions for the loss of emails in third party custody (GoDaddy), Iron Mountain back ups, and miscellaneous computer files, the Magistrate Judge concluded: 1)that Exeter had a duty preserve reasoning that since 2009 it had been involved in other litigation involving the disclosure of its books, records and financial documents, and that Exeter therefore knew or should have known that the documents ?could be relevant to future litigation? and also found that even if the filing of the 2009 lawsuit (involving different parties) did not trigger the preservation obligation, receipt of a 2009 subpoena should have and that in any event, the duty to preserve arose no later than Exeter?s 2011 bankruptcy filing; 2)that Exeter?s loss of ESI was ?intentional and done in bad faith? absent evidence of any effort to ensure preservation or to contact the third-party providers to inform them of the duty; and 3) that as a result of the intentional loss, a presumption of relevance was warranted and therefore recommended a sanction of an permissive adverse inference at trial; upon Exeter?s objection, District Court adopted the sanctions recommendation entirely and indicated that ?[W]hen there has been intentional destruction of evidence by an officer of a closely held corporation, other officers of the closely held entity may be subject to sanctions, even if they did not have direct control of the evidence at issue.?
Nature of Case: Plaintiff claims that Defendants defrauded Exeter?s creditors by transferring funds from Exeter to themselves, certain trusts, and other entities.
Electronic Data Involved: Email in third-party custody, Iron Mountain backups, miscelaneous ESI