Case Law

Court Denies Motion for Sanctions After Discovery Period Ends

Connecticut

Kennedy v. Supreme Forest Prods., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77005 (D. Conn. May 22, 2017) In this employment matter, the defendants moved for sanctions against the plaintiff for failure to provide evidence that would have been presented at trial. The evidence in question consisted of audio files surreptitiously recorded on a smartphone during meetings and conversations while plaintiff was still employed by defendants. The recordings were copied to a computer, and the computer in turn was used to generate additional copies that were disclosed by the plaintiff to the defendants during the course of discovery. The defendants argued that the plaintiff, in bad faith, disposed of the original versions of the recordings and cell phone. However, the plaintiff argued that the defendants did not pursue alternative access to the smartphone and the contents during the discovery period and depositions. The court held that sanctions against the plaintiff should not be imposed, reasoning that the defendants used the motion for sanctions as an alternative pursuit of evidence that they should have requested during discovery. Furthermore, the court held that there was no evidence that the copies of the recordings had been tampered with or are not believed to be the same quality as the original recordings.

Keywords: audio recordings, discovery period, smartphone, cell phone, sanctions