Gutman v. Klein, Case No. 03-cv-1570 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 1, 2008)
Take Away: Blatant discovery abuses and laughable attempts to destroy or distort discoverable data can cause the harshest of sanctions, including default judgment.
District Judge Cogan has upheld Magistrate Judge Levy’s recommendation (as previously reported here) for a default judgment against defendants who tampered with electronic evidence. The court also awarded attorney’s fees and costs based on the spoliation of evidence contained on the laptop in question.
This is the first time that a district court in the Second Circuit has deemed a situation egregious enough for sanctions this harsh.