• Employers Must Preserve Documents to Avoid Losing Employment Cases
  • October 13, 2005 | Author: John D. Canoni
  • Law Firm: Nixon Peabody LLP - New York Office
  • Spoliation occurs when litigants discard documents they were obliged to preserve during pending administrative proceedings, litigation, investigations or audits. Cases can be won and lost because of spoliation alone. Extremely harsh sanctions such as adverse inferences, default judgments, substantial fines, contempt and even criminal liability face litigants who fail to identify and preserve relevant documents. Spoliation claims have arisen in several employment cases starting with the famous Zubulake v. UBS Warburg case and a recent wage/hour case, Heng Chan et al v. Triple 8 Palace, graphically illustrating "how serious a risk a party runs when it destroys documents relevant to ongoing litigation."