Think before you  text!

In a products liability case against a pharmaceutical company in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, In Re Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate) Products Liability Litigation, 2013 WL 6486921 (S.D. Ill.), the court imposed nearly $1 million in sanctions against the company when it ruled that the company had failed to implement an adequate litigation hold on critical evidence, including its employees’ business-related text messages.

Design firms and construction companies often have employees whose duties are performed at construction sites, necessitating a greater than usual use of mobile devices to communicate important business information and decisions.  This means that in the event of litigation, mobile records, including text messages, may contain important discoverable information.

Construction-related companies of all sizes should consider implementing a mobile device management policy and make sure their employees are aware that the protection of personal information on a company mobile phone is limited.  Companies also should know exactly which devices are used by their employees in an effort to better understand potential issues that may be unique to particular manufacturer or operating systems.