Archive: December 2017

1
Selective Ins. Co. of the Se. v. RLI Ins. Co., 5:12CV2126, 2017WL 1206036 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 31, 2017)
2
Teal v. Jones, No. 2015-CA-00259-COA, 2017 WL 58824 (Miss. Ct. App. Jan. 3, 2017)
3
Agility Pub. Warehousing Co. v. Dep?t of Defense, 14-1064 (JDB), 2017 WL 1214424 (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2017)
4
Brown v. Albertsons, LLC, 2:16-cv-01991-JAD-PAL, 2017 WL 1957571 (D. Nev. May 10, 2017)
5
Zamora v. Stellar Mgmt. Grp., Inc. , 3:16-05028-CV-RK, 2017 WL 1362688 (W.D. Mo., Mar. 11, 2017)
6
Keathley v. Grange Ins. Co. of Mich., 15-cv-11888, 2017 WL 1173767 (E.D.Mich., Mar. 30, 2017)
7
Brown v. Certain Underwriters at Llyods, London, No. 16-cv-02737, 2017 WL 2536419 (E.D. Pa. June 12, 2017)
8
Bailey v. Alpha Techs., Inc., No. C16-0727-JCC, 2017 WL 2378921 (W.D. Wash. June 1, 2017)
9
Montgomery v. Iron Rooster-Annapolis, LLC, No. RDB-16-3760, 2017 WL 1902699 (D. Md. May 9, 2017)
10
Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Huszar, No. 3:15?cv?907?AC, 2017 WL 481469 (D. Or. Feb. 6, 2017)

Selective Ins. Co. of the Se. v. RLI Ins. Co., 5:12CV2126, 2017WL 1206036 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 31, 2017)

Key Insight: Court agreed with recommendation of magistrate judge and held costs incurred by a non-party for compliance with an order compelling production are reimbursable. The magistrate judge ordered the Non-Party to submit a cost estimate for reviewing the documents, preparing a privilege log and producing the non-privileged documents. The cost estimate submitted was over $120,000. Defendant then presented a pared down document request and the magistrate judge issued a Modified Subpoena. The Court accepted the magistrate judge?s recommendation and ordered Defendant to pay $14,174.32 for the costs to Non-Party of complying with the Modified Subpoena stating that Defendant ?was the recipient of the fruits of Non-Party[?s] labor.? The Court also agreed with the magistrate judge that non-parties are not protected by the work product doctrine.

Nature of Case: Non-party compensation for document production

Electronic Data Involved: emails and non-electronic documents

Teal v. Jones, No. 2015-CA-00259-COA, 2017 WL 58824 (Miss. Ct. App. Jan. 3, 2017)

Key Insight: Spoliation instructions to jury were erroneous and the case was reversed and remanded for a new trial. No evidence of spoliation was presented at trial and hence spoliation instructions were improper. The Court also went on to discuss the spoliation evidence since it could arise in a new trial. The Court found no spoliation with regard to the deleted emails since Plaintiff?s deletion of emails occurred before she could have anticipated a lawsuit. The Court found that the disposal of Plaintiff?s laptop and sale of her desktop might be spoliation of evidence if there is reason to believe the deleted emails could be recovered from either computer?s hard drive. If Defendant can present evidence that the emails could have been recovered then the court may grant her an instruction on spoliation.

Nature of Case: Alienation of affections

Electronic Data Involved: Emails, hard drives

Agility Pub. Warehousing Co. v. Dep?t of Defense, 14-1064 (JDB), 2017 WL 1214424 (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2017)

Key Insight: Where Plaintiff sought sanctions for a government agency?s failure to preserve and produce emails in response to a Touhy request (an APA action was eventually filed), court denied Plaintiff?s request to depose the Agency?s attorneys as a way to ?replace? the lost information (thus, according to Plaintiff, avoiding further analysis under Rule 37(e)), reasoning that the rule?s Committee Notes appeared to ?contemplate that the ?replacement? of lost information would come from another electronic source,? and declined to impose the requested sanction under any authority (either Rule 37(e) or the court?s inherent authority) where Plaintiff?s requested sanction was not appropriately targeted to the harm claimed and where no prejudice was established

Nature of Case: APA Action related to Touhy request

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Brown v. Albertsons, LLC, 2:16-cv-01991-JAD-PAL, 2017 WL 1957571 (D. Nev. May 10, 2017)

Key Insight: In response to Plaintiff?s Motion for Spoliation Sanctions, the Court engaged in an analysis of four types of available sanctions: Evidentiary, Monetary, Dispositive and Adverse Inference Instructions. The Plaintiff argued the Defendant intentionally destroyed evidence in the form of an incident report, a surveillance video and correspondence between Defendant and a third-party claims adjuster. The Court found that information from the incident report and the lost emails with the claims adjuster were available elsewhere and that the loss of the video surveillance was due to a system-wide outage that affected several stores. The Court found no evidence that Defendant acted intentionally or recklessly and denied Plaintiff?s request for Dispositive Sanctions but instead imposed lesser Evidentiary Sanctions by allowing the Plaintiff to introduce evidence that the incident report was lost or destroyed, that the Defendant failed to preserve the third-party communications and that Defendant?s video system failed to record the incident.

Nature of Case: Slip and Fall

Electronic Data Involved: ESI, including video

Zamora v. Stellar Mgmt. Grp., Inc. , 3:16-05028-CV-RK, 2017 WL 1362688 (W.D. Mo., Mar. 11, 2017)

Key Insight: Where Plaintiff in an employment litigation failed to preserve a potentially relevant Facebook post, deleted her work phone before returning it and failed to preserve information contained on numerous other phones (e.g., because they were lost, etc.), court found that ?Plaintiff cannot be relied on to disclose all relevant communications? and granted motion to allow access to the mirror image of a phone belonging to a former employee and co-worker of the plaintiff and to allow defendant to subpoena the former employee to produce a second phone for inspection and ordered production of Plaintiff?s current work phone, to be reviewed by a Special Master for potentially relevant communications, with the cost of the Special Master to be split between the parties ; court found request for dismissal or an adverse inference was premature

Nature of Case: Employment litigation

Electronic Data Involved: ESI from cellular phones, Facebook

Keathley v. Grange Ins. Co. of Mich., 15-cv-11888, 2017 WL 1173767 (E.D.Mich., Mar. 30, 2017)

Key Insight: In this insurance litigation, the district court affirmed an order of the magistrate judge requiring Defendant?s counsel to provide additional information regarding the fate of relevant photographs but, upon review of the declaration submitted, found that it did not adequately address the loss and ordered that a representative of Defendant?s IT personnel be deposed; in concluding that a duty to preserve existed prior to Defendant?s ?final? determination regarding the claim, court reasoned in part that Defendant had asserted attorney client privilege with its outside counsel re: ?coverage issues? prior to its final determination and also noted its decision to require Plaintiff to testify under oath, indicating its skepticism of Plaintiff?s claim, and Defendant?s own request for Plaintiff to submit additional evidence, including any pictures

Nature of Case: Insurance litigation

Electronic Data Involved: Photographs

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

View Case Opinion

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