Court Denies Pro Se Plaintiff’s Motion for Spoliation Sanctions

23 Nov 2015

In Garner v. Executive Management Services, Inc., et. al., Case No. 13-2043 (S.D. Ind., Nov. 6, 2015), pro se Plaintiff filed a Motion for Sanctions against the attorney for the Defendants, alleging that he 1) lost or destroyed an original of a manual produced by Plaintiff; 2) failed to preserve evidence, although Plaintiff did not identify the evidence not preserved; and 3) improperly gave Plaintiff legal advice about what she should or should not produce in discovery; and 4) improperly questioned her at her deposition, although she did not provide any transcript excerpts.

The court found no evidence of bad faith on the part of Defendants’ counsel. The court found that Defendants’ production of the manual was an exact copy of the original and that Plaintiff had not provided the complete original to Defendants in the first place. The court found no evidence that Defendants had intentionally destroyed any portion of the manual. Defendants provided evidence that the manual submitted by Plaintiff was no longer used by the company and that it had been overwritten by its present manual, which the court found to be a valid justification for a lack of electronic copy. The court also found that Defendants’ counsel’s discussions with Plaintiff did not amount to legal advice. The court denied Plaintiff’s Motion for spoliation sanctions.

ILS – Plaintiff Electronic Discovery Experts