Oro BRC4, LLC v. Silvertree Apartments, Nos. 2:19-cv-4907, 2:19-cv-5087 (S.D. Ohio, June 10, 2021).
Key Insight: Plaintiff sought a motion for spoliation sanctions based on defendant’s failure to prepare its Rule 30(b)(6) deponent to testify on topics related to ESI preservation and collection, and for spoliation sanctions related to the failure to preserve ESI. The court granted sanctions for defendant’s failure to prepare its 30(b)(6) designee, finding: “The production of an unprepared witness is tantamount to a failure to appear, and warrants the imposition of sanctions.” Defendant offered its head of IT as the corporate designee. He received the deposition notice less than 72 hours before the deposition, spent about 6 hours preparing to testify (approximately 10 minutes per topic), did not review any documents other than his own emails, and did not speak or communicate with other employees to gather information on the topics he was supposed to testify about. The court ordered a second 30(b)(6) deposition, required defendant to pay the reasonable costs and expenses associated with attending the second deposition and fees for plaintiff’s ESI consultant to attend, and awarded fees associated with having to bring the motion to compel. On the issue of failure to preserve ESI evidence, the court concluded it was premature to address this issue until the second 30(b)(6) deposition, which would cover topics relating to defendant’s litigation hold efforts.
Nature of Case: Breach of contract
Electronic Data Involved: ESI business documents and electronic devices