Doug Austin, CloudNine: No Proof of Intent to Deprive Means No Adverse Inference Sanction

Extract from Doug Austin’s article “No Proof of Intent to Deprive Means No Adverse Inference Sanction: eDiscovery Case Law”

We’re catching up on a few cases from earlier this year in preparation for our Key eDiscovery Case Law Review for First Half of 2019 webcast next Wednesday.  Here is an interesting case ruling from April.

In DriveTime Car Sales Company, LLC v. Pettigrew, No.: 2:17-cv-371 (S.D. Ohio Apr. 18, 2019), Judge George C. Smith granted in part and denied in part the plaintiff’s motion for spoliation sanctions against defendant Pauley Motor, denying the plaintiff’s request for an adverse inference sanction by ruling that “DriveTime has not sufficiently demonstrated that Pauley Motor acted with the requisite intent” when Bruce Pauley failed to take reasonable steps to preserve text messages when he switched to a different phone.  Judge Smith did “order curative measures under Rule 37(e)(1)”, allowing the plaintiff to “introduce evidence at trial, if it wishes, of the litigation hold letter and Pauley Motor’s subsequent failure to preserve the text messages.”

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