Bad actors/custodians exist in this world. It’s imperative for organizations to have security protocols in place to stop the theft of company IP from departing employees.
In this employment and breach of contract case, the plaintiff motioned for case dismissal and lesser e-discovery sanctions against the defendant for destroying data with the intent of not allowing the plaintiff to use such evidence in trial.
The defendant was subpoenaed for all documents pertaining to defendant’s former employment with the plaintiff. The defendant responded that he had no “client data, deliverables, software or work product.” But in a subsequent deposition the defendant admitted to destroying “responsive evidence located on his personal computer and in his personal cloud storage account.” Included in that destruction of evidence was an important private client list, webinar recordings and emails. Defendants contend that after the deletion they could not locate, restore or replace these items via additional discovery.
As a result, the plaintiff motioned for case dispositive and lesser sanctions against the defendant.
Download the PDF version of University Accounting Service, LLC v. Ethan Schulton case law alert here.
This is a very interesting case because the spoliation sanctions arise not from the defendant’s intent to deprive his opponent of the documents themselves but his intent to deprive his opponent of the fact that he possessed the documents.