Defendant Must Produce Manipulated Version of Data Already Produced
In Connectus LLC v. Ampush Media, Inc. et. al., Case No. 15-2778 (M.D. Fla., Nov. 30, 2016), Plaintiff sued Defendants for stealing proprietary data worth millions of dollars and selling it to third parties. Plaintiff operates a website that connects prospective college students with different schools, either directly through the school or through an intermediary aggregator. The aggregators maintain databases about the schools and help match the students to schools. Defendants were aggregators of Plaintiff’s site pursuant to a contract, and Plaintiff alleged that Defendants had been misappropriating Plaintiff’s proprietary lead generation data and selling it. Defendants countered that Plaintiff consented to their actions and that such actions are acceptable industry practice, and further argued that Plaintiff did not use reasonable efforts to protect its confidential or proprietary information. During discovery, Plaintiff sent interrogatories and document requests to Defendants seeking, among other things, documents relevant to Defendant Ampush’s transfer of its business to Defendant DGS. Plaintiff also sought more documents from Defendant Ampush alone, and when it was not satisfied with Ampush’s response, filed a Motion to Compel.
Ampush argued that, having sold its assets to DGS, the documents sought by Plaintiff not already produced were not in its possession or control. It further argued that it did a search for responsive documents and produced 61 spreadsheets. Plaintiff acknowledged the production, and so the court denied the Motion to Compel with respect to the document requests. However, the court did order Ampush to produce its “manipulated versions” of the data already produced and reminded Defendants that they were under a duty to supplement their responses.