Court Denies Discovery Sanctions Where No Prejudice Resulted From Failure to Produce Documents
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently denied discovery sanctions in the case of Oracle America, Inc., et. al. v. Terix Computer Company, Inc., et. al., Case No. 13-cv-03385 ( May 19, 2015).
Plaintiffs filed the Motion for Sanctions after deposing a defense witness and learning that Defendants had failed to search, collect, or produce documents from a previously undisclosed source of evidence.
As an initial matter, the court noted that FRCP 37 sanctions were inappropriate because Defendants did not violate any court orders and because Defendants did not shirk their duties under FRCP 26. The court also found that Plaintiffs did not show the requisite bad faith for sanctions nor did they show any real prejudice resulting from Defendants’ actions. Defendants produced the items within a month of Plaintiffs’ request and, although Plaintiffs alleged that the production did not include certain metadata, the court found that this did not rise to the level of spoliation, especially given that production errors can occur regardless of timing of a production.