Monday, February 28, 2011

Plaintiff's Destruction of Evidence Warrants Terminating Sanctions and $1 Million Fine

The court sanctioned plaintiff $1 million and ordered plaintiff's counsel to pay defendants' costs and attorneys' fees for destruction of evidence. "[Plaintiff's consultant who developed the source code for the prior art software] admitted that he wiped six of the seven zip disks that were produced by [plaintiff] as purportedly containing the original source code of the [prior art software] that would invalidate [defendant's] patents. . . . Despite the Court’s inclination to take an officer of the Court at his word, a thorough review of all the evidence supports an opposite finding. This Court finds it impossible to believe that it is merely coincidence that the seventh disk happened to be wiped . . . the same day that [defendant] was scheduled to inspect it. . . . [Defendant's] contention that, virtually every piece of media ordered produced by the Court in May 2007 and July 2008 was wiped, altered, or destroyed after those orders were entered, is supported by forensic analysis. . . . This Court finds that both [plaintiff] and its counsel acted willfully in bad faith by engaging in conduct that resulted in deception of both the opposing party and the Court, the destruction of relevant evidence, the waste of judicial resources, and the undermining of the judicial process.

Rosenthal Collins Group, LLC v. Trading Technologies International, Inc., et. al., 1-05-cv-04088 (ILND February 23, 2011, Order) (Coleman, J.).

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