Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Repeated Discovery Violations Warrants Terminating Sanctions

Plaintiffs' motion to strike a defendant's answer and enter a default judgment for failure to comply with discovery obligations was granted. "This Court gave [defendant] numerous opportunities to provide the requested documents, yet it chose to produce incomplete responses. . . . [Defendant] and [its counsel] affirmatively misled Plaintiffs -- and more importantly, this Court -- as to the production of documents and compliance with Court orders. . . . By failing to provide the discovery as ordered, [defendant] has prevented Plaintiffs from pursuing their claims and delayed this litigation for nearly seven years. . . . [T]he Court notes that it has considered less severe sanctions. Specifically, the Court considered levying a fine against [defendant] and its counsel for the repeated misconduct. Given the procedural posture of this case, however, nothing short of default judgment would be sufficient. This matter has been pending [for 8 years] and [defendant] has taken every opportunity to delay these proceedings. Moreover at this point, any discovery provided by [defendant] cannot be trusted as a complete response. Plaintiffs demonstrated numerous inconsistencies between discovery previously provided by [defendant] and documents obtained by Plaintiffs through other means. Additionally, [defendant's] own acts and testimony revealed that discovery provided by it is unreliable and incredible. Time after time [defendant] has ignored the Court’s orders. Thus, the severe sanction of default is warranted."

Ocean Innovations, Inc., et. al. v. Quarterberth, Inc., et. al., 1-03-cv-00913 (OHND April 18, 2011, Order) (Adams, J.)

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