IWOI, LLC v. Monaco Coach Corp., 2011 WL 2038714 (N.D. Ill. May 24, 2011)

Facts: IWOI is a suit arising from a defective motor home. Defendants originally failed to produce a “hot doc” that plaintiff only discovered after reopening fact discovery and conducting an additional search at its own cost. Plaintiff sought sanctions and asked the court to shift the entire cost of the search to the defendants.

Law: The court has authority to impose sanctions under either Rule 37 for violating a court order or under its inherent authority to manage its cases.

Holding: The court sanctioned the defendants and ordered them to share half the cost of the plaintiff’s search because the defendants failed to produce a clearly relevant and accessible email, and thereby failing to comply with Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Takeaway Points: Attorneys should work with clients to perform an exhaustive search when responding to discovery to ensure a complete and responsive production. The failure to do so could result in sanctions that ultimately increase the cost of litigation. Attorneys should expend additional time and resources early in the course of the litigation to avoid such problems.

Access the full IWOI opinion here.