By Memorandum Opinion entered by the Honorable Maryellen Noreika in Cignex Datamatics, Inc. v. Lam Research Corp., Civil Action No. 17-320-MN (D.Del. March 11, 2019), the Court denied the motion of defendant Lam Research Corporation seeking a finding of spoliation and entry of sanctions against plaintiff Cignex Datamatics, Inc. for failure to preserve the emails of certain employees of plaintiff that worked on the software development project that was the subject of the breach of contract litigation between plaintiff and defendant.
Upon evaluation of the motion, the Court found that, since the issue of spoliation turned on plaintiff’s loss of ESI, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) governed the analysis. Id. at*7. The Court did find that plaintiff should have preserved at least some of the email accounts identified by defendant but failed to take reasonable steps to do so after litigation was reasonably anticipated. Id. As to the third threshold issue of Rule 37(e), the Court found that defendant did not make a showing that the lost emails could not be restored or replaced through additional discovery. Id. at *8. The Court also found that defendant did not make a sufficient showing to invoke the intentional and willful spoliation analysis of Rule 37(e)(2); rather, it was appropriate to proceed under the negligence spoliation analysis of Rule 37(e)(1). Id. at *9. The Court thereafter found that there was not a sufficient showing on the record for the Court to find that defendant was prejudiced by the loss of the ESI and, thus, imposing a curative measure under Rule 37(e)(1) would be inappropriate. Id. at *10-11.
A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.