In Mazzei v. Money Store, No. 01-cv-5694 (S.D.N.Y. July 21, 2014), the district court granted a motion to sanction defendants that had failed to preserve data that was held by a third party for the defendants pursuant to a services contract.  The court held that the defendants were required to preserve data on the third party’s computer system because the information was relevant to the plaintiff’s claims and the defendants had “the legal right and practical ability” to obtain the information from the third party’s computer system under their contracts with the third party.  The court rejected the argument that the defendants did not have “possession, custody or control” of the data because, the court held, a party has control over information “when it has the right, authority, or practical ability to obtain the documents from a non-party to the action.”  The court held that the defendants would be required to pay for the cost of attempting to restore the data from an alternate source.