Plaintiff eDiscovery Requests Lead to Wal-Mart Named as Defendant in Class Action
Last year, a group of workers filed a class action lawsuit in Carrillo v. Schneider Logistics, Inc., No. CV 11-8557-CAS (DTBx), alleging wage and hour violations in three warehouses located in California. During the time these allegations were taking place, Schneider was working for retail giant Wal-Mart, whom the lawsuit sought to add as an additional defendant.
After the initial responses to plaintiff electronic discovery requests were answered, plaintiff attorneys alleged that the defense production did not include any requested information. After a few meet and confers, the court agreed and ordered the defendant to supplement its response with information relating to Wal-Mart’s alleged involvement in the warehouses where the plaintiffs worked. Schneider supplemented its response with 23,000 documents, some of which the defendant had previously certified did not exist. Part of the new discovery evidenced that at least 20 Schneider employees regularly used “@wal-mart.com” email addresses.
In its opinion dated October 5, 2012, the Court found that through either inadvertence, bad faith, incompetence or lack of investigation, the litigation hold memorandum did not cover Wal-Mart electronic documents. This included emails @wal-mart, and the court found that Schneider employees were deleting such emails after litigation began. The court ordered Schneider to turn over its ESI to an objective third party to complete discovery and ordered monetary sanctions.
This took place back in October, but on January 7, 2013, the Court ordered Wal-Mart named as an additional defendant to the lawsuit due to the additional eDiscovery and email threads produced which evidenced its involvement in the case.
Now that Wal-Mart was just added as a defendant, expect electronic discovery to continue as the plaintiffs will no doubt be serving additional requests—our blog will continue to report on this case as it unfolds.