Archive: May 9, 2017

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Court Concludes Data Is within Defendant’s Possession, Custody or Control, Declines to Shift Costs

Court Concludes Data Is within Defendant’s Possession, Custody or Control, Declines to Shift Costs

Williams v. Angie’s List, No. 1:16-00878-WTL-MJD, 2017 WL 1318419 (S.D. Ind. April 10, 2017)

Plaintiffs in this case—48 current and former employees of Defendant—alleged they were entitled to “substantial compensation” for hours worked without pay. Plaintiffs further alleged that Defendant’s computerized time records did not entirely reflect their hours worked because Defendant had instructed them to underreport their overtime hours and because many of those hours were worked from home.  Plaintiffs therefore sought production of “background data” automatically recorded while they were working on Defendant’s sales platform, Salesforce, in an effort to “close the gaps” in other records.  Defendant produced one year’s worth of the requested data, but refused to produce the additional two years sought by Plaintiffs arguing that the information was maintained by Salesforce, “a third-party provider of services,” and that Defendant had “no greater rights” to the data “than any other person.” Defendant also noted the $15,000 invoice it received from Salesforce related to the initial production, which it claimed supported its position that it did not have possession, custody or control of the information.  Ultimately, the court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to compel and denied Defendant’s motion to shift costs.

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