In Automated Solutions Corp. v. Paragon Data Systems, Inc., 756 F.3d 504 (6th Cir. 2014) (Nos. 13-3025, 13-3058), the Sixth Circuit held that sanctions were not warranted for defendant’s negligent destruction of a hard drive and its failure to preserve its daily back-up tapes.  Although the appellate court found that the defendant had a duty to preserve the hard drive, and was negligent in failing to do so, it held that the district court did not clearly err in determining that a reasonable jury could not find the missing hard drive would support the plaintiff’s claims.  The plaintiff argued that relevance could be inferred because the defendant’s failure to institute a litigation hold constituted gross negligence per se.  The Sixth Circuit disagreed, explaining that “we have declined to impose bright-line rules” with respect to culpability determinations and whether sanctions are appropriate.  As for the back-up tapes, the court also held that the defendant did not have a duty to preserve them, as the back-up tapes were maintained solely for the purpose of disaster recovery.