Tag: Spoliation

1
Century ML-Cable Corp. v. Carrillo, 43 F. Supp. 2d 176 (D.P.R. 1998)
2
William T. Thompson Co. v. Gen. Nutrition Corp., Inc., 593 F. Supp. 1443 (C.D. Cal. 1984)
3
ABC Health Servs., Inc. v. IBM Corp., 158 F.R.D. 180 (S.D. Ga. 1994)
4
Long Island Diagnostic Imaging, P.C. v. Stony Brook Diagnostic Assoc., 728 N.Y.S.2d 781 (N.Y. App. Div. 2001)
5
Fuller v. Instinet, Inc., 2004 WL 3699810 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 29, 2004)
6
Rambus, Inc. v. Infineon Tech. AG, 222 F.R.D. 280 (E.D. Va. 2004)
7
Computer Assoc. Int?l v. Am. Fundware, Inc., 133 F.R.D. 166 (D. Colo. 1990)
8
MasterCard Int’l v. Moulton, 2004 WL 1393992 (S.D.N.Y. June 22, 2004)
9
RKI, Inc. v. Grimes, 177 F. Supp. 2d 859 (N.D. Ill. 2001)
10
Convolve, Inc. v. Compaq Computer Corp., 223 F.R.D. 162 (S.D.N.Y. 2004)

Century ML-Cable Corp. v. Carrillo, 43 F. Supp. 2d 176 (D.P.R. 1998)

Key Insight: Default judgment entered against defendant and attorneys’ fees awarded to plaintiff, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37, for defendant’s willful and intentional destruction of laptop presumably containing crucial evidence of defendant’s decoder key modification programs, sale records and customer lists

Nature of Case: Cable TV provider sued businessman for cable TV theft

Electronic Data Involved: Laptop

William T. Thompson Co. v. Gen. Nutrition Corp., Inc., 593 F. Supp. 1443 (C.D. Cal. 1984)

Key Insight: Defendant’s discovery abuse and destruction of evidence warranted monetary sanctions and default judgment

Nature of Case: Antitrust

Electronic Data Involved: Sales and inventory data

ABC Health Servs., Inc. v. IBM Corp., 158 F.R.D. 180 (S.D. Ga. 1994)

Key Insight: Court denied plaintiff?s motion to dismiss IBM’s counterclaims as sanction for deletion of computer files, since erasure was done before suit was filed and did not amount to willful or bad faith disregard of discovery order or discovery request; court indicated that a jury instruction regarding destruction of documents may be an appropriate lesser sanction

Nature of Case: Breach of contract for development of software

Electronic Data Involved: Computer files containing both project-related documents and purely personal documents

Long Island Diagnostic Imaging, P.C. v. Stony Brook Diagnostic Assoc., 728 N.Y.S.2d 781 (N.Y. App. Div. 2001)

Key Insight: Trial court erred in not dismissing defendants’ counterclaim and third party complaint as sanction for spoliation of evidence — contrary to court’s orders, defendants purged databases and produced backup tapes that were compromised and unusable

Nature of Case: Plaintiff sought declaratory judgment that it was not in default of license agreement

Electronic Data Involved: Computer databases and backup tapes

Fuller v. Instinet, Inc., 2004 WL 3699810 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 29, 2004)

Key Insight: Court denied plaintiff’s motion to compel defendants to provide affidavits of all employees with access to employment databases and hiring practices, in order to establish whether any documents or data was destroyed, since discovery had been closed for one year and there was no evidence that defendants had destroyed documents

Nature of Case: Employment discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Hiring and employment database and records

Rambus, Inc. v. Infineon Tech. AG, 222 F.R.D. 280 (E.D. Va. 2004)

Key Insight: Based on in camera review, court granted defendant’s motion to compel based on the crime/fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege, ordered production of other documents on same subject matter and further ruled that discovery would be allowed regarding documents produced and on the issue of sanctions

Nature of Case: Patent infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Email, backup tapes

Computer Assoc. Int?l v. Am. Fundware, Inc., 133 F.R.D. 166 (D. Colo. 1990)

Key Insight: Defendant’s duty to preserve source code arose no later than service of complaint, and its subsequent destruction of source code warranted default judgment on issue of liability; even assuming that maintenance of only a single, updated version of source code was, in other circumstances, a bona fide business practice, any destruction of versions of the code after service of complaint could not be excused as a bona fide business practice

Nature of Case: Copyright infringement, unfair competition, breach of computer software agreement

Electronic Data Involved: Source code

MasterCard Int’l v. Moulton, 2004 WL 1393992 (S.D.N.Y. June 22, 2004)

Key Insight: Finding no bad faith in defendant’s failure to preserve email since defendants simply persevered in their normal document retention practices, court nonetheless ruled that plaintiff would be allowed to prove the facts reflecting the non-retention of email and argue to the trier of fact that this destruction of evidence, in addition to other proof offered at trial, warranted certain inferences

Nature of Case: Trademark infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Email

RKI, Inc. v. Grimes, 177 F. Supp. 2d 859 (N.D. Ill. 2001)

Key Insight: Court granted emergency motion to compel, requiring defendants to appear for deposition and produce computers for inspection by plaintiff’s computer forensics expert; at subsequent bench trial, in light of defendants’ deletion of data from computers after litigation commenced, repeated defragmentation of hard drives prior to court-ordered inspections, and decision not to offer any testimony to explain same, court drew adverse inference; court awarded plaintiff $100,000 as royalty for defendants’ unauthorized use of trade secrets, and $150,000 in punitive damages for the willful and malicious misappropriation of trade secrets and attempted cover-up

Nature of Case: Manufacturer sued former employee and competitor for misappropriation of trade secrets and related torts

Electronic Data Involved: Software and databases containing sales and customer information

Convolve, Inc. v. Compaq Computer Corp., 223 F.R.D. 162 (S.D.N.Y. 2004)

Key Insight: Court rejected plaintiff’s request for direct access to Compaq’s hard drives, servers, and databases since plaintiff had failed to show widespread destruction or withholding of relevant information by Compaq; court further rejected plaintiff’s request for sanctions for failure to preserve certain evidence

Nature of Case: Patent infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Hard drives, servers, databases, email and electronic data

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