Friday, December 18, 2015

Repeated Discovery Violations Warrant Adverse Jury Instruction

The magistrate judge recommended granting plaintiff's motion for an adverse jury instruction on damages because of defendant's discovery failures. "It took a motion to compel, a motion for contempt, a motion for sanctions, and three orders from this Court to dislodge from [defendant] the entirety of its information responsive to [plaintiff's requests]. . . . Additionally, the record shows that [defendant] engaged in tactics designed to delay its production, such as waiting weeks after the Court’s deadline for producing responsive information to ask for a change to the protective order. . . . [T]he fact that [defendant] eventually complied with this Court’s orders does not preclude the imposition of sanctions. In sum, for the reasons stated here and on the record, the Court finds that an instruction is warranted, albeit a less punitive instruction of the type that permits the jury to presume that the belatedly-produced evidence was helpful to [plaintiff] and harmful to [defendant]."

Star EnviroTech, Inc. v. Redline Detection, LLC et al, 8-12-cv-01861 (CACD December 16, 2015, Order) (McCormick, M.J.)

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