Mahboob v. Educational Credit Management Corp. (S.D. Cal. 2021)

Key Insight: Plaintiff brought a (potential) class action lawsuit against Defendant for invasion of privacy based on Defendant recording phone calls without the consent of the other party. After bringing the suit, Plaintiff discovered that the call data and recordings had been deleted. Plaintiff filed a Motion for Sanctions against Defendant were both forms of ESI based on intentional spoliation of evidence.

Defendant had placed a legal hold on requested data but also failed to suspend its data retention policies. Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions regarding deleted call data was purportedly delayed by Plaintiff because the litigation was stayed for approximately two years while an appeal was pending. The Court found that Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions regarding the deleted call data was untimely, and therefore, denied it on such grounds.

The Court partially granted and denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions regarding the deleted call recordings, finding that Defendant should not have deleted the call recordings, but did not do so intentionally. Plaintiff was awarded attorney’s fees for having brought the Motion, but the Court declined to impose a sanction of a jury instruction regarding spoliation because the call recordings per se were not relevant to proving Plaintiff’s case.

Nature of Case: Invasion of Privacy

Electronic Data Involved: Phone Calls, Phone Call Data

Case Summary

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