Friday, March 18, 2011

Repeated Discovery Violations Warrants Terminating Sanctions

The court granted plaintiffs' motion to strike defendants' answer as a Rule 37 sanction for newly discovered suppression of evidence. "[T]he Court notes that Defendants have already been found to have lost, destroyed, or withheld material documents, including invoices, purchase orders and emails. . . . In addition . . . the Court granted Defendants leave to have [a witness] appear at deposition . . . by videoconference based on Defense counsel’s representation that 'it appears impossible to obtain the necessary paperwork to bring him to Seattle at this time.'. . . However, [the witness later] testified under oath that he had made no efforts to travel to the United States for his deposition, had within his possession a five-year visa, and could travel to the United States at any time. . . . [T]he Court has already imposed the sanction of an adverse instruction. Apparently, this has done little to promote respect for the integrity of the discovery process. Furthermore, it is unclear how an adverse instruction would now alleviate the damage that has been caused by Defendants’ continued failure to cooperate with Plaintiffs in discovery."

Loops, LLC, et. al. v. Phoenix Trading, Inc., et. al., 2-08-cv-01064 (WAWD March 15, 2011, Order) (Martinez, J.)

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