IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS DUE TO DEFENDANT’S WILLFUL SPOLIATION OF EVIDENCE
NOW COMES the Plaintiff, XYZ GROUP, INC. (“XYZ”), and moves this Court pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(b) and this Court’s inherent power to enter an order granting default judgment against Defendant Susan Currier as sanction for willful spoliation of evidence contained on her laptop computer and “USB” flash drive. In the alternative, XYZ moves this Court for an adverse jury instruction preventing Defendant from arguing that her laptop computer did not contain XYZ engineering files. In support of its motion, XYZ states as follows:
1. On July 7, 2009, XYZ filed a Complaint for Injunctive and Other Relief, alleging violation of the Illinois Trade Secrets Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and a breach of Defendant’s employment contract. This matter stems from Defendant’s inappropriate conduct which included, among other acts, the intentional stealing of XYZ’s confidential engineering plans for products currently in development.
2. On March 5, 2009, Defendant was dismissed from her employment at XYZ as Lead Engineer. Shortly after her departure, XYZ computer technicians examined Defendant’s work computer and discovered a complete lack of user-specific files that should have been present on Defendant’s computer due to normal use. This lack of files suggests that someone intentionally deleted files relating to Defendant’s user profile.
3. The technicians also discovered a record, or “log file,” of files accessed on XYZ computer servers from Defendant’s work computer. This record showed that, on March 4, the day before Defendant’s termination, the computer was used to access and copy forty-seven (47) files containing engineering diagrams of XYZ products currently in development. This action was beyond Defendant’s authorized use of XYZ computer systems.
4. Forensic examination of Defendant’s work computer produced a list of three USB devices that had been connected to the computer during Defendant’s last two weeks of employment. One of these devices, labeled “Sammy” and with a serial number of 0000183D8774B645&1, was last accessed twelve (12) minutes after the copying of engineering files described above.
5. This information led XYZ to believe that Defendant had copied XYZ’s confidential engineering plans from XYZ computer servers to her work computer, transferred these to the “Sammy” USB drive, and then attempted to delete all evidence of her actions from the work computer.
6. On November 1, 2009, XYZ moved this Court to enter an order compelling Defendant to produce her laptop computer and all USB drives in her possession used on XYZ business for forensic examination by XYZ’s computer expert. This Court entered the requested order on November 9.
7. On November 24, XYZ received Defendant’s laptop computer and three USB devices, including the drive labeled “Sammy.” XYZ’s computer expert immediately created forensic “mirror” images of the computer and USB devices and began a forensic examination of each. The resultant Expert Report is attached hereto as Exhibit A.¹
8. Upon examination of the laptop computer, XYZ’s computer expert discovered…
DISCLAIMER: This document is intended to be used as an example of a motion to compel discovery of electronically stored information. It is not intended to represent legal advice. This document contains fictional data. Any similarity to actual events or persons is purely coincidental.