Category Archives: Discovery

543441518

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Amended to Address Proportionality of Discovery

Relief may be in sight for the discovery costs of large corporate defendants involved in toxic tort litigation. As happens all too often in  toxic tort cases, a single plaintiff (or a group of similarly situated individuals) asserts claims against one or more large corporations that have been in business for many years. Due to the length of the corporation’s existence, there is a voluminous amount of corporate information and documents. When the plaintiff’s predicatably requests the entirety of these documents in the discovery process,…

Continue Reading....

No Reimbursement for “Dress Rehearsal” for Trial

Recently, U.S. District Judge Joseph Rodriguez affirmed an order of U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio and held that a defendant dismissed from a product liability suit cannot recover the costs of preparing an expert witness for deposition. The action, captioned Durkin v. Wabash International, stems from a 2008 accident in which a truck driver was killed when the load of steel sheet pilings he was carrying shifted forward and pinned him inside the truck. Wabash, the manufacturer of the trailer and bulkhead at issue,…

Continue Reading....

Why Can’t We Be Friends? — Facebook Account Deletion Cause for Adverse Inference Charge

A Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court of New Jersey recently ruled that a personal injury plaintiff’s deletion of his Facebook account, after it had been the subject of a discovery request, was cause for an adverse inference against the plaintiff. In Gatto v. United Air Lines, et al., the plaintiff claimed a permanent disability resulting from a 2008 accident in which he allegedly suffered injuries including a torn rotator cuff and torn medial meniscus.   In July 2011 during the subsequent litigation,…

Continue Reading....

The More At Stake, the More You Must Pay To Produce Electronic Discovery For Plaintiff

In Juster Acquisition Co., LLC v. North Hudson Sewerage Authority, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 18372 (Feb. 11, 2013), U.S. Magistrate Judge Hammer found that in applying the Zubulake factors for fee shifting in electronic discovery disputes, the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation and the relative benefits to the parties obtaining the information are not dispositive, but that the costs of discovery as compared to the amount in controversy and the cumulative and duplicative nature of the discovery may tip the…

Continue Reading....

The Truth May Set You Free, But Lying Can Get You Tossed Out Of Court

Earlier this week, the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the dismissal, with prejudice, of an asbestos plaintiff’s claims as a result of his pervasive lies during discovery. The plaintiff, Michael Gaskill, commenced an asbestos-exposure lawsuit in Middlesex County in 2008, alleging that he had developed mesothelioma through exposure to asbestos-containing products while working as a mechanic’s helper at local auto body shops and while assisting his grandfather in automotive maintenance and repair work.  As the defendants investigated the plaintiff’s claims, however, it became clear that…

Continue Reading....

SSA’s Determination of Disability Is Not Worth Its Weight In Prejudice

In a medical malpractice case arising out of allegedly negligent knee replacement surgery, the plaintiff offered into evidence the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Determination of Disability. Orber v. Jain, 10-cv-1674 (DNJ Camden).  Judge Renee Marie Bumb, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, found the determination to be inadmissible under Rule 403 because it is “substantially more prejudicial than probative.” The court cited a number of reasons for its decision, which should be of interest to similarly situated defendants.  First, the…

Continue Reading....

Jurors’ Use Of Social Media At Trial

Hardly a day passes without a report of the impact of social media on the law.  From divorce cases, which lead the charge in the use of Facebook information in court, to criminal law enforcement , workers compensation, and personal injury matters , there is no doubt that the use of evidence obtained from social media is widespread and gaining in general acceptance.   The power of social media to influence a case extends beyond its evidentiary value and the federal judiciary is…

Continue Reading....

Discovery of Social Networking Content

Social media has become an increasingly important source of information from the inception of litigation through trial. Despite the wide spread use of social networking sites by individuals and corporations alike, reported opinions addressing the discovery of information maintained on social networking sites is scarce. Recently, a Pennsylvania state trial court issued an opinion granting defendant’s motion to compel the discovery of information maintained on Facebook by personal injury plaintiffs. Largent v. Reed  is the third decision by the Pennsylvania trial courts granting discovery of…

Continue Reading....