Tag: Spoliation

1
QueTel Corp v. Hisham Abbas (4th Cir., 2020)
2
Bolding v. Banner Bank (W.D. Wash. 2020)
3
Bolding v. Banner Bank (W.D. Wash. May 22, 2020)
4
WeRide Corp. v. Kun Huang (N.D. Cal., 2020)
5
Brittney Gobble Photography, LLC v. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (D. Md. 2020)
6
Vaks v. Quinlan, et al. (District of Massachusetts, 2020)
7
Allscripts Healthcare, LLC v. DR/Decision Resources, LLC d/b/a Decision Resources Group (District of Massachusetts, 2020)
8
Nevis v. Rideout Memorial Hospital, et al. (Eastern District of California, 2020)
9
Digital Mentor, Inc. v. Ovivo USA, LLC (Western District of Washington, 2020)
10
Mannion, et al. v. Ameri-Can Freight Systems Incorporated, et al. (district of AZ, 2020)

QueTel Corp v. Hisham Abbas (4th Cir., 2020)

Key Insight: Defendants had deleted relevant files just before forensic imaging occurred. Court sanctioned Defendant and issue permanent injunction.

Nature of Case: Copyright infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Source Code and files on laptops

Keywords: sanctions, injunctions, source code

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Bolding v. Banner Bank (W.D. Wash. 2020)

Key Insight: The plaintiffs, current and former mortgage/residential loan officers of defendant, filed a motion for spoliation sanctions and entry of default judgment against defendant based on the failure to preserve and intentional destruction of email accounts and calendar data. The court found: (1) the ESI was relevant to the claims in the lawsuit; (2) defendant breached its duties by intentionally destroying ESI after learning that employees had accused defendant of not paying overtime and after being threatened with a lawsuit, and even after the lawsuit was filed and formal requests for production were received, it paid to order the destruction of additional backup tapes; and (3) the evidence is irretrievably lost. The court declined to enter a default judgment, concluding “[t]he availability of less drastic sanctions that have the ability to mitigate the damage caused by defendant’s egregious destruction of evidence is a powerful factor that militates against imposing dispositive sanctions.”

Nature of Case: Wage and Hour Class Action

Electronic Data Involved: Email and calendar accounts

Case Summary

Bolding v. Banner Bank (W.D. Wash. May 22, 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant deleted backup tapes after litigation hold notice issued. Spoliation occurred, but no default judgment

Nature of Case: class-action employment

Electronic Data Involved: Backup tapes

Keywords: sanctions, backup tapes, destruction

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WeRide Corp. v. Kun Huang (N.D. Cal., 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant’s failure to suspend document retention policy resulted in loss of evidence and court ordered judgment against Defendant. Plaintiff also showed evidence that USB Drives had been inserted into a shared laptop and files deleted. Defendants actions had made it impossible for Plaintiff to prove case.

Nature of Case: Trade Secrets

Electronic Data Involved: USB Drives inserted into company laptop; Email accounts

Keywords: records retention policy, spoliation, sanctions

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Brittney Gobble Photography, LLC v. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (D. Md. 2020)

Key Insight: Plaintiff, a professional photographer, filed a motion for spoliation sanctions against the defendant, claiming the deletion of emails were crucial to the claims and defenses in the litigation. The court denied plaintiff’s motion, finding: there is no evidence that the emails at issue actually existed, and an inference that they did not exist; if the emails existed, there is no evidence that the defendant lost or destroyed any emails in order to prevent plaintiff from using them in the litigation; and plaintiff is not prejudiced by the purported loss. Plaintiff never proved that the purported emails existed and to succeed on a spoliation of evidence motion, mere speculation is not enough.

Nature of Case: Copyright infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Emails

Case Summary

Vaks v. Quinlan, et al. (District of Massachusetts, 2020)

Key Insight: plaintiff violated the protective order by filing a pleading attaching confidential documents

Nature of Case: employment discrimintation

Electronic Data Involved: confidential documents protected under the protective order

Keywords: protective order, confidentiality

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Allscripts Healthcare, LLC v. DR/Decision Resources, LLC d/b/a Decision Resources Group (District of Massachusetts, 2020)

Key Insight: enhancement of protective order to ensure heightened confidentiality of one document.

Nature of Case: breach of contract and false and misleading statements

Electronic Data Involved: confidentiality of proprietary aggregate data product

Keywords: protective order, heightened confidentiality

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Nevis v. Rideout Memorial Hospital, et al. (Eastern District of California, 2020)

Key Insight: Plaintiff was made aware that he had to preserve his phone records and text records and than failed to do so

Nature of Case: personal injury and liability

Electronic Data Involved: plaintiff’s cell phone and text messages

Keywords: spoliation, text messages, phone records, cell phone, preservation

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Digital Mentor, Inc. v. Ovivo USA, LLC (Western District of Washington, 2020)

Key Insight: Failure to produce; Sanctions; Proportionality

Nature of Case: Trademark & Copyright infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Hard copy; correspondence; email

Keywords: “Functional employee”; Consultant; Third-party communications; Privilege; Spoliation; Unfair prejudice; Attorney’s fees and costs; Proportionality; Access/Resources;

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Mannion, et al. v. Ameri-Can Freight Systems Incorporated, et al. (district of AZ, 2020)

Key Insight: whether the issue of spoliation could be brought before the jury to decide if evidence was withheld and if that was justified

Nature of Case: personal injury, motor vehicle

Electronic Data Involved: Log books of defendant

Keywords: spoliation, jury instruction, question of law/fact

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