Archive: December 2017

1
Camicia v. Cooley, No. 74048-2-I, 2017 WL 679988 (Wash. Ct. App. Feb. 21, 2017)
2
Youngevity Int’l Corp. v. Smith, No. 16-cv-704-BTM-JLB (S.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2017)
3
Barcroft Media, Ltd. v. Coed Media Grp., LLC, No. 16-CV-7634 (JMF) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 28, 2017)
4
Bratcher v. Navient Sols., Inc., 249 F.Supp.3d 1283 (M.D. Fla. 2017)
5
Moody v. CSX Transp., —-F.Supp.3d—, No. 07-CV-6398P, 2017 WL 4173358 (W.D.N.Y. Sept. 21, 2017)
6
William C. Blosser v. Ashcroft, Inc., No. C17-5243-BHS, 2017 WL 4168502 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 19, 2017)
7
Barry v. Big M Transp. Inc., No 1:16-cv-00167-JEO, 2017 WL 3980549 (N.D. Ala. Sept. 11, 2017)
8
Basra v. Ecklund Logistics, Inc., 8:16CV83, 2017 WL 1207482 (D. Neb., March 31, 2017)
9
Andrews v. Autoliv Japan, Ltd., 1:14-cv-3432-WSD, 2017 WL 2805868 (N.D. Ga. June 29, 2017)
10
Brand Servs., LLC v. Irex Corp., NO: 15-5712, 2017 WL 67517 (E.D. La. Jan. 5, 2017)

Camicia v. Cooley, No. 74048-2-I, 2017 WL 679988 (Wash. Ct. App. Feb. 21, 2017)

Key Insight: Where Defendant destroyed potentially relevant tort-claim records pursuant to its record retention schedule during pending litigation among other discovery abuses and where the trial court therefore ordered monetary sanctions for the discovery violations and indicated that it would consider a spoliation instruction, the appellate court concluded that the trial court?s record did not support a finding that ?the City destroyed the evidence in bad faith, knew that the evidence was important to the pending litigation, or had the duty to preserve the evidence? and thus, it was not clear that spoliation had occurred; error was harmless where $10,000 fine was not based on a finding of spoliation

Nature of Case: Tort (bicycling accident)

 

Youngevity Int’l Corp. v. Smith, No. 16-cv-704-BTM-JLB (S.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2017)

Key Insight: 4.2 million pages of keyword “”hit”” documents produced without review, but designated “”Attorney Eyes Only.

Nature of Case: unfair competition

Electronic Data Involved: 4.2 million pages of keyword “”hit”” documents

View Case Opinion

Barcroft Media, Ltd. v. Coed Media Grp., LLC, No. 16-CV-7634 (JMF) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 28, 2017)

Key Insight: Spoliation sanctions for failing to preserve the webpages in which the images were published.

Nature of Case: Intellectual Property infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Images, Webpages

View Case Opinion

Bratcher v. Navient Sols., Inc., 249 F.Supp.3d 1283 (M.D. Fla. 2017)

Key Insight: Where defendant sought to examine plaintiff?s smartphone itself for the purpose of obtaining a log of blocked calls arguing that ?plaintiff is not entitled to recovery for any blocked calls,? the court noted that defendant had failed to provide legal basis for this position and that ?[T]here is no routine right of direct access to a party?s electronic information system. … absent a factual finding of some non-compliance with [the] discovery rules, direct access is unwarranted.? The court further noted that defendant made no effort to comply with the requirement for a proposal for the protection of privacy rights, the protection of privileged information, and the separation of irrelevant information during inspection. On this basis, the court found direct access to the cell phone unwarranted and denied defendant?s motion to compel.

Nature of Case: Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Electronic Data Involved: Cell Phone Call Block Records

Moody v. CSX Transp., —-F.Supp.3d—, No. 07-CV-6398P, 2017 WL 4173358 (W.D.N.Y. Sept. 21, 2017)

Key Insight: Where event data recorder information saved on a laptop computer (1) was transferred to a central repository (?the Vault?) without validation and later found to be unreadable and (2) the original files were destroyed, without validating the files in the Vault, with the laptop after a hardware malfunction, court granted plaintiff?s motion for an adverse inference but declined to strike defendants? answer. Court found defendants? failure to review and validate file uploads to the central repository for over 4 years after the accident ?unfathomable? and concluded that ?their failure to access the files uploaded to the Vault for the four-year period before 2010 conflicted with their duties under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.? Court found defendants? actions unreasonable and without credible explanation and therefore sufficient to support a finding that defendants acted with the intent to deprive plaintiff of evidence.

Nature of Case: Personal injury (railway accident)

Electronic Data Involved: Event Data Recorder Files

William C. Blosser v. Ashcroft, Inc., No. C17-5243-BHS, 2017 WL 4168502 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 19, 2017)

Key Insight: Where Defendant contended there was only one way to search the at-issue database but failed to explain why and where Plaintiffs noted Defendant?s failure to offer reasons why optical character recognition could not be used on the database, the court ?agree[d],? reasoning that parties might otherwise be encouraged to ?maintain inaccessible databases to limit their discovery obligations? and noted that Defendant may need to consult a third party vendor if necessary and ordered the parties to meet and confer regarding the issue

Nature of Case: Asbestos exposure liability

Electronic Data Involved: Database

View Case Opinion

Barry v. Big M Transp. Inc., No 1:16-cv-00167-JEO, 2017 WL 3980549 (N.D. Ala. Sept. 11, 2017)

Key Insight: Court found Defendant?s failure to preserve a vehicle?s Electronic Control Module (ECM) data after it was aware of a severe accident, contrary to the Defendant?s ?normal practice,? constituted spoliation. Court denied Plaintiffs? motion for a negative inference under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37 (e) as the Plaintiffs were able to reconstruct the accident and vehicle?s speed from other sources and that the failure to preserve was not intentional based on the defendants? plausible, though erroneous, understanding that the data was overridden by the removal of the damaged vehicle from the scene. Court found a jury instruction that ECM data was not preserved and allowing both parties to present evidence and argument at trial regarding defendant?s failure to preserve the data to be a sufficiently effective sanction.

Nature of Case: Personal injury (auto accident)

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic Control Module (ECM)

Basra v. Ecklund Logistics, Inc., 8:16CV83, 2017 WL 1207482 (D. Neb., March 31, 2017)

Key Insight: Plaintiff?s spouse was killed in a tractor-trailer accident when he collided with another tractor-trailer driven by Defendant?s employee. Plaintiff claimed Defendant destroyed or failed to preserve relevant documents in anticipation of litigation and requested sanctions in the form of an adverse inference instruction to the jury. The Court found Plaintiffs did not establish Defendant intentionally destroyed evidence with a desire to suppress the truth. Some of the information did not exist, some was purged per standard practice and much of the material requested by Plaintiffs was provided to them from other sources. The Court denied Plaintiff?s motion with respect to its claim for spoliation. Plaintiffs also requested attorney?s fees and costs as a sanction for Defendant?s failure to produce certain documents. Defendants inadvertently omitted its 2012 income statement but produced those from four other years. The Court held that sanctions were not warranted.

Nature of Case: Tort (Tractor-trailer accident)

Electronic Data Involved: ESI including Driver logs, Qualcomm data, PeopleNet server data

Andrews v. Autoliv Japan, Ltd., 1:14-cv-3432-WSD, 2017 WL 2805868 (N.D. Ga. June 29, 2017)

Key Insight: Court denied Defendant?s request for e-discovery costs. Defendant?s vendor provided services to create optical character recognition (?OCR?) image and text files for Defendant?s productions. The Court concluded that the costs of creating electronic copies of documents are recoverable but the costs of creating a dynamic, indexed and searchable database that allows counsel to search for and within the documents are not recoverable. The Court denied Defendant?s recovery of costs for the technical services provided by their e-discovery vendor.

Nature of Case: Taxable costs

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

Brand Servs., LLC v. Irex Corp., NO: 15-5712, 2017 WL 67517 (E.D. La. Jan. 5, 2017)

Key Insight: Plaintiff filed motion to compel the production of all computers or a forensic image of such computers of three former employees currently employed by Defendant. Plaintiff accused one employee, an informational technology specialist, of transferring files containing trade secrets and proprietary information to an external hard drive and later to his laptop furnished by Defendant. Plaintiff also sought the production of a forensic image of Defendant?s server. Defendant argued that direct investigation of these devices was too broad a scope and should be limited by an ?electronically stored information protocol.? The Court agreed that Plaintiff?s request was overly broad and disproportional and ordered both parties to submit a draft ESI protocol using key word searches so as to control costs and to keep discovery proportional to the needs of the case.

Nature of Case: Violation of non-compete agreement, Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

View Case Opinion

Copyright © 2022, K&L Gates LLP. All Rights Reserved.