For Discovery Violations, Court Orders Retention of Outside Vendor to Collect Responsive Documents, Investigate Possible Spoliation

“In this case, the court concluded that Defendant failed to comply with its discovery obligations by 1) failing to conduct a reasonably diligent search, 2) improperly withholding responsive documents, and 3) failing to take adequate steps to ensure preservation. . . The court then ordered that Defendant would be required to retain a mutually agreed upon vendor who would be allowed access to Defendant’s information systems, including those administered by the relevant customer, to search for and collect ESI “within the scope of plaintiffs’ discovery requests and the Court’s discovery order.” While Defendant would be allowed to review the documents for privilege and confidentiality, no documents identified by the vendor could be withheld on grounds of relevance. At the same time, the vendor would also conduct a search to determine if any potentially responsive documents had been permanently deleted. The court also ordered that relevant video tapes be produced.”