Tag Archives: spoliation

Staggering Amount of Spoliation Leads to Quick Conclusion of Trade Secrets Lawsuit

A recent decision issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, presents a stark example of what can result when a defendant accused of trade secret misappropriation is careless in preserving electronically stored information (“ESI”) relevant to the lawsuit.

Silicon Valley-based autonomous car startup WeRide Corp. and WeRide Inc. (collectively, “WeRide”) sued rival self-driving car company AllRide.AI Inc. (“AllRide”), along with two of its former executives and AllRide’s related companies, asserting claims for misappropriation under the federal Defendant Trade Secrets Act and the California Uniform Trade Secrets Code, along with numerous other claims.  WeRide secured a preliminary injunction from the Court, directing AllRide not to use or disclose WeRide’s confidential information and trade secrets, and specifically directing defendants not to destroy evidence.

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Consequences of the spoliation of an item of evidence

By Chantal Noël, from our Insurance Law Practice Group.

September 18, 2019 — The Court of Appeal recently put an end to a case that had originated in November 2008 with the destruction by fire of a combine harvester (CNH Industrial Canada Ltd. c. Claude Joyal inc., 2019 QCCA 1151). The owner’s insurer had compensated its insured and then filed a claim against the seller of the machine. The seller had then brought a warranty action against the manufacturer, but only after the machine had been dismantled. The manufacturer then argued that failure to receive notice of the claim and the impossibility to examine the machine deprived it of the right to a defence, thereby justifying the dismissal of the action. Just how did this case end?

Click here to read more (PDF).

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"Dog Ate My Emails" No Defense Against Spoliation Sanction

On a motion for spoliation sanctions, it makes no difference that a party destroyed emails without “malevolent” purpose. For a sanctions motion to be granted, it is necessary only to demonstrate that the evidence was destroyed deliberately.

In an article, August 19, 2013, titled “Sanctions Imposed for Non-Malevolent Destruction of Emails,” the New York Law Journal  reported on a decision handed down by the Hon. Shira Scheindlin in the Southern District of New York on August 15, 2013 in Sekisui Medical America v. Hart, 1:12-cv-03479, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115533 (S.D.N.Y. 2013).

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Remedies For Spoliation Of Evidence

New York state courts are increasingly turning to federal Zubulake standards when confronted with spoliation of electronic evidence issues. However, in dealing with garden variety spoliation of evidence scenarios, not involving ESI, New York courts have generally engineered their own solutions without turning to federal common law for guidance. We previously addressed how New York courts address ESI spoliation.

Pursuant to the common law doctrine of spoliation, when a party negligently loses or intentionally destroys key evidence, the responsible party may be sanctioned. There may be circumstances where the destruction is so egregious that the offending party’s pleading may be stricken where no other remedy will achieve a fundamentally fair outcome.

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