Sherman v. Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, Case No. Civil 06-2379 (E.D.La. August 19, 2008)

In July 2007, Plaintiff filed a second motion to compel Harrah’s to satisfy its discovery obligations by providing him with “all information pertaining to his gambling activities, most of which was electronically stored.” Opinion at 2, citing Report & Recommendation, p. 3. The Magistrate ordered a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of Harrah’s employees to determine how its computer-related documents were kept. On the eve of depositions, Harrah’s provided Plaintiff with “nearly three hundred pages of additional responsive documents.” Opinion at 2, citing Report & Recommendation, p. 3. Harrah’s representatives essentially testified in the depositions that the major database systems could have been accessed sooner to obtain the electronically-stored information.

The Magistrate found that Harrah’s had abused the discovery process and ordered Plaintiff to document how much time had been spent in conjunction with the second motion to compel. The Magistrate recommended that Plaintiff be awarded over $15,000 for costs, IT support services and attorney’s fees, on the grounds that,

It was only after plaintiff filed and litigated two motions to compel and deposed five Harrah’s employees on three separate days that he obtained all documents and electronically stored data pertaining to him and that the reasons offered by defendant do not justify the extensive efforts plaintiff was required to take to obtain the requested information.

Opinion at 4, citing Report & Recommendation p. 5.

Ultimately the court granted summary judgment for Harrah’s and dismissed Plaintiff’s case, taxing costs against the Plaintiff, yet refusing to tax plaintiff for costs of depositions necessitated by Harrah’s misconduct.

Read the case