District Court Defers Ruling on Adverse Inference Where Unclear that Destruction Was for Purpose of Depriving Plaintiff of Use in Litigation.

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Someone offered to download Lemony Snickets on eDonkey, and the activity was traced to the defendant. With the help of a computer forensic specialist, Paramount conducted an inspection of the defendant’s hard drive and discovered that he had wiped it clean two weeks after receiving notice of the suit. The defendant claimed that he wiped the hard drive clean because …

Metadata Generally Discoverable with E-Files Produced in the Ordinary Course of Business.

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Looking to Comment 12 of the Sedona Principles, the Court holds that “when a party is ordered to produce electronic documents as they are maintained in the ordinary course of business, the producing party should produce the electronic documents with their metadata intact, unless that party timely objects to production of metadata, the parties agree that the metadata should not …

The Eleventh Circuit Rejects Ordinary License Fee for Software as “Costs” When Protective Order Limits the Use of Data to Litigation Purposes.

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In multiple class actions brought by physicians against the nation’s largest HMOs, the American Medical Association, a non-party, was compelled to produce its annual reports regarding physicians’ income and medical practices and the underlying data for those reports. The defendants sought that material to defend against the plaintiffs’ allegations in the case. The AMA argued that it was entitled to …

Court orders Navy to search database for information relevant to plaintiff’s discrimination claims.

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After a new trial was granted to allow the plaintiff to present its case using new evidence the defendant claimed it did not have and did not produce during discovery, the court ordered defendant to “provide access to the Facilities Information System (FIS) database for review by plaintiff’s counsel or a computer technology consultant hired by plaintiff for the limited …

Seventh Circuit rejects tort claim for negligent spoliation in the absence of an express contract or special relationship between the parties, under Indiana law.

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A contractor suing to be compensated for work performed under a construction contract was counter-sued due to problems with an epoxy that had been purchased from a third-party. The manufacturer had conducted an investigation when the epoxy had stripped away, and the plaintiff ultimately asserted a claim of spoliation against the manufacturer, whose investigation materials would have assisted plaintiff in …

Indiana Court of Appeals finds special relationship between employer and employee in case of intentional spoliation.

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While recognizing the general rule that an employer is not required to preserve evidence in support of an employee’s third-party product liability claim, (see Murphy v. Target Prods., 580 N.E.2d 687 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991)), the court, (apparently influenced by defendant’s conduct), concluded that, “under the facts and circumstances, Midwest and Drew had a ‘special relationship’ to support the recognition …

Under Tennessee Law, Sixth Circuit Finds that a Forklift is a Complex Industrial Machine which Must be Evaluated under a Prudent Manufacturer Test.

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Plaintiff was driving his forklift along an east-west corridor at the Quebecor plant when he collided with a forklift operated by a co-worker. Brown alleged that Raymond had sold the forklift in a defective and unreasonably dangerous condition, that Raymond had provided inadequate warnings, and that the brakes were not working properly at the time of the accident. Interpreting the …

Indiana Court Rules that a Pharmacy Has No Duty to Warn.

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A man sued his pharmacy for failing to provide appropriate product information or warnings about adverse effects. The medication was prescribed by the plaintiff’s treating physician, and the Third District Indiana Court of Appeals followed the “majority” view that there was no duty to warn. Quoting from an earlier decision, the court reasoned that: “The duty to warn of hazards …

Firearms Immunity Goes Into Effect.

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Congress has enacted and the President has signed the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” which generally bars any civil action (or administrative proceeding) in State or Federal Court brought by any person against a seller or manufacturer of firearms or ammunition for damages or other remedies resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of such a product by …

Eleventh Circuit finds adverse inference insufficient where owner allows vehicle to be sold for salvage prior to inspection in crashworthiness suit.

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Following an accident in 1996, the plaintiff’s counsel sent a letter to Daimler Chrysler notifying Daimler Chrysler of the accident and of the airbag’s failure to deploy. Daimler Chrysler replied to Flury’s letter, requesting the location of the vehicle for inspection purposes. Flury’s counsel never responded to the letter. Around six months later, the vehicle was sold off by the …