Even with a long, hotly contested discovery process, the court’s discretion to dismiss a case for discovery misconduct when the harm is irreversible (i.e., relevant data is spoliated and cannot be recovered) will be considered among other factors.
In this trademark infringement case, the defendants moved for case dismissal based on the plaintiffs’ perpetuation of a fraud on the court via “egregious discovery-related misconduct.”
The defendants contend that the following conduct by the plaintiffs should lead the court to grant their motion:
Plaintiffs contend that ultimately the defendants received all responsive documents, that the destroyed documents were deleted as the result of a routine document destruction policy, and that the plaintiffs did not realize that the evidence was relevant at the time.
Download the PDF version of Adidas America, Inc. v. TRB Acquisitions LLC case law alert here.
Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss was based on allegations of e-discovery misconduct by Plaintiff. The motion was denied because it did not meet a five-factor test considered by the court. This shows that despite broad discretion to impose sanctions including case dismissal for poor e-discovery practices under the FRCPs, the courts may look to other legal analysis for their decision.