Archive: December 1, 2017

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Brown v. Certain Underwriters at Llyods, London, No. 16-cv-02737, 2017 WL 2536419 (E.D. Pa. June 12, 2017)
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Bailey v. Alpha Techs., Inc., No. C16-0727-JCC, 2017 WL 2378921 (W.D. Wash. June 1, 2017)
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Montgomery v. Iron Rooster-Annapolis, LLC, No. RDB-16-3760, 2017 WL 1902699 (D. Md. May 9, 2017)
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Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Huszar, No. 3:15?cv?907?AC, 2017 WL 481469 (D. Or. Feb. 6, 2017)
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Alexis v Rogers, No. 15cv691-CAB (BLM), 2017 WL 1073404 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 21, 2017)
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Charles v. City of New York, No. 12-CV-6180 (SLT)(SMG), 2017 WL 530460 (E.D.N.Y., Feb. 8, 2017)
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Rutledge-Plummer v. SCO Family of Servs., No. 15-CV-2468 (MKB) (SMG), 2017 WL 570765 (E.D. N.Y. Feb. 13, 2017)
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Organik Kimya, San. ve. Tic. A.S. v. Int?l Trad Comm?n, 848 F.3d 994 (Fed. Cir. 2017)
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Edelson v Cheung, No. 2:13-cv-5870 (JLL)(JAD), 2017 WL 150241 (D.N.J. Jan. 12, 2017)
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CP Salmon Corp. v. Pritzker, —F. Supp. 3d.—,No. 3:16-cv-00031-TMB, 2017 WL 744022 (D. Alaska Feb. 24, 2017)

Brown v. Certain Underwriters at Llyods, London, No. 16-cv-02737, 2017 WL 2536419 (E.D. Pa. June 12, 2017)

Key Insight: Applying the common law, the court imposed a permissive adverse inference and monetary sanctions for Plaintiff?s spoliation of his cellular phone and its contents where Plaintiff claimed a day before he was scheduled to produce it that he had lost his phone months ago but provided no details regarding the loss or his attempts at preservation or recovery of the phone and where the court concluded that Plaintiff made a ?deliberate choice to withhold [the phone] from production? and that Defendants were prejudiced as a result

Nature of Case: Insurance coverage litigation

Electronic Data Involved: Cellular phone and contents

Montgomery v. Iron Rooster-Annapolis, LLC, No. RDB-16-3760, 2017 WL 1902699 (D. Md. May 9, 2017)

Key Insight: Court found Plaintiff failed to take reasonable steps to preserve ESI when she turned her phone in to Verizon on August 15, 2016. Defendants claimed text messages on the Plaintiff?s phone could have shown she was acting as a manager and was hence an exempt employee. Defendants discussed their position with Plaintiff?s counsel in June, 2016 and the phone was de-activated two months later. Plaintiff testified she did not know she had to keep the phone to preserve the ESI. The Court found this testimony credible and recommended, pursuant to Rule 37(e)(1) that the ??[C]ourt order measures no greater than necessary to cure the prejudice? and proposed an instruction to the jury that Plaintiff had a duty to maintain potential ESI contained on her phone, but failed to do so and indicated the court could also instruct the jury as to any inference to draw from Plaintiff?s failure to preserve texts on her phone.

Nature of Case: Employment litigation, unpaid overtime

Electronic Data Involved: Text messages

Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Huszar, No. 3:15?cv?907?AC, 2017 WL 481469 (D. Or. Feb. 6, 2017)

Key Insight: Where Defendant?s use of an internal utility tool on the at-issue server resulted in all of the data thereon being overwritten but where the District Court Judge found ?credible? Defendant?s explanations that he did not believe the hard drives contained relevant information and where the ?unique facts? of the case, namely the focus on Defendant?s TOR Node – which ?routed information for other end users around the world? but did not contain Defendant?s personal data – contributed to the court?s disagreement with the Magistrate Judge?s finding of intent, the court adopted the Magistrate Judge?s finding of spoliation but declined to impose default judgement and instead concluded that an adverse inference was appropriate

Nature of Case: Copyright infringement

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

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Alexis v Rogers, No. 15cv691-CAB (BLM), 2017 WL 1073404 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 21, 2017)

Key Insight: Addressing Defendant?s request for forensic examination of Plaintiff?s computer as part of its Omnibus Discovery Motion, court noted Plaintiff?s testimony that her computer had crashed three times resulting in the loss of access to certain information, the fact that ?the majority? of Plaintiff?s work for Defendants was conducted remotely via computer, and the fact that Defendants were willing to pay for the examination, and concluded that Defendants had provided a ?legal basis justifying their request? but noted Defendant?s failure to provide sufficient information regarding the devices at issue, the identity or qualifications of the forensic expert or any details regarding the protocol or specifics of what to search for and thus denied the motion without prejudice

Nature of Case: Intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, sexual harassment, and retaliatory, wrongful termination, etc.

Electronic Data Involved: Forensic examination of computer

Charles v. City of New York, No. 12-CV-6180 (SLT)(SMG), 2017 WL 530460 (E.D.N.Y., Feb. 8, 2017)

Key Insight: Where Plaintiff lost the phone containing relevant video footage of the incident leading to plaintiff?s arrest when she attended a ?gala? carrying a ?really small purse? and thus had to hand-carry or lay down her phone and where she failed to call the banquet hall to determine if her phone was recovered (although she apparently did call her phone?s service provider and a relevant cab company in furtherance of her recovery efforts), the court declined to find that the loss was intentional and reasoned that the evidence suggested ?at most mere negligence? and that because there was a ?genuine issue of material fact regarding what transpired during the videotaping, the court [could] not find that the lost videotape was likely to favor Defendants? and thus denied the motion for sanctions without prejudice to renewal at trial if ?Defendants could adduce evidence ? that the lost video recording was likely to be favorable to them?; notably, court applied common law spoliation analysis for loss of the phone, recognizing that the common law applied, ?except in cases involving electronically stored information?

Nature of Case: Constitutional claims arising from arrest following alteration with police while Plaintiff recorded police activities

Electronic Data Involved: Lost phone containing video footage of incident leading to arrest

Rutledge-Plummer v. SCO Family of Servs., No. 15-CV-2468 (MKB) (SMG), 2017 WL 570765 (E.D. N.Y. Feb. 13, 2017)

Key Insight: Plaintiff also sought production of all emails between 8 named individuals dating from August 1, 2013 to the present (December 2016). The court found the scope of this request (lacking any search terms or subject matter restrictions) was too burdensome when weighed against the potential benefit of production. Plaintiff narrowed her request to docs that related to her and limited the date range during oral argument, however the court found that this was still too broad and too close to the close of discovery to be permitted. Furthermore, Defendant had already produced emails relating to Plaintiff from most of the 8 custodians and had written to Plaintiff suggesting she propose search terms if she sought additional discovery. Plaintiff?s counsel, whose representation started after Defendant?s letter to Plaintiff, did not review Defendant?s earlier discovery responses and waited 10 months before requesting the additional discovery (using the overbroad parameters). The court denied Plaintiffs request except for certain documents referenced in depositions that were not produced. The court also denied Plaintiffs overly broad request for ?all documents pertaining to policies, procedures, and guidelines related to Defendant?s computers, computer systems, electronic data and electronic media? as too burdensome.

Nature of Case: Motion to Compel in employment discrimination action

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

Organik Kimya, San. ve. Tic. A.S. v. Int?l Trad Comm?n, 848 F.3d 994 (Fed. Cir. 2017)

Key Insight: Court affirmed the sanction of default judgment imposed in 2014 by the International Trade Commission for Appellant?s egregious spoliation of evidence in bad faith and in violation of the Administrative Law Judge?s orders (including, among other things, repeatedly overwriting files, backdating a computer?s internal clock to affect metadata, running CCleaner)

Nature of Case: Patent infringement

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

Edelson v Cheung, No. 2:13-cv-5870 (JLL)(JAD), 2017 WL 150241 (D.N.J. Jan. 12, 2017)

Key Insight: Where Plaintiff sought spoliation sanctions for Defendant?s deletion of emails and argued that Defendant intended to keep the at-issue account hidden and deleted emails after it was discovered through another party?s production and that those emails revealed Defendant?s intent to keep the at-issue account hidden and other elements of Plaintiff?s claims, the court found that the deletions were ?intended to deprive Plaintiff of the information? contained within and reasoned that Defendant?s claim that he deleted the emails because of computer performance lacked credibility, but declined to impose default judgment absent a sufficient degree of prejudice and instead ordered that a permissive adverse inference instruction would be given to the jury

Nature of Case: Breach of contract and related claims

Electronic Data Involved: Email

CP Salmon Corp. v. Pritzker, —F. Supp. 3d.—,No. 3:16-cv-00031-TMB, 2017 WL 744022 (D. Alaska Feb. 24, 2017)

Key Insight: Applying Fed. R. Evid. 502, court found Defendants? inadvertent inclusion of privileged information in the Administrative Record did not waive privilege where declarations of persons with ?sufficient personal knowledge? established the inadvertence of the inclusion where, in light of the multiple levels of review of the documents and the relevant circumstances including the ?sheer number of pages and compressed timeframe,? the court found Defendant had undertaken reasonable steps to prevent disclosure, and where Defendants took action to rectify the error within three weeks of the disclosure

Nature of Case: Administrative law

Electronic Data Involved: Administrative Record

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