In a lawsuit concerning dental implant patents, one company took a serious hit because of its failure to implement a litigation hold. Zest IP Holdings sued Implant Direct Manufacturing for patent infringement. The lawsuit was not a surprise as Zest had warned Implant of the impending action. Implant failed to put a litigation hold in place and, as a result, emails between key individuals were either lost or destroyed. Consequently, the U.S. District Court sanctioned Implant for its failure to properly preserve evidence. However, rather than granting a default judgment against Zest, the court instructed the jury that Zest destroyed evidence. This instruction casts the impression that Zest was hiding something, and as a result, the chances of liability dramatically increase.
All companies, no matter how small, must have procedures in place when there is a likely threat of litigation. Failure to take steps to preserve such evidence may doom a company’s chances in litigation. For more, click here.