A hockey equipment company sued one of its competitors, alleging that it had induced a former employee to provide trade secrets and other proprietary information. The evidence established that the former employee downloaded computer information via a Yahoo account, and then canceled the account in order to cover his tracks. Although the former employee was not a defendant, the evidence indicated that some confidential information had been provided to the defendant competitor via CD, and that “a case can be made that [the defendant] should have done more to detect and preserve relevant data under [the former employee’s] control.” While refusing to strike the defenses and enter a default judgment, the Magistrate recommended allowing the plaintiff to present evidence of the defendant’s failure to preserve the electronic data; an instruction to the jury that it may presume, based upon the spoliation, that the evidence destroyed would have been favorable to the plaintiff; and allowing counsel for the plaintiff to argue in favor of the negative inference. See Easton Sports v. Warrior LaCrosse, No. 05-72031, 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 70214 (E.D.Mich. Sept. 28, 2006).
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