Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Court awards attorneys fees and costs due to "Plaintiff's Skulduggery"

skul·dug·ger·y [skuhl-duhg-uh-ree]–noun, plural -ger·ies.

1. dishonorable proceedings; mean dishonesty or trickery: bribery, graft, and other such skulduggery.

2. an instance of dishonest or deceitful behavior; trick.

Wow! Whenever a judge has to throw out a word like "Skulduggery", you are probably in for a zinger.

This decision followed the Court’s earlier order on sanctions in which the court dismissed the complaint with prejudice and invited the defendant to file an application for attorneys’ fees. Defendant sought $79,524.07 in attorney's fees, and $20,472.32 in costs. The court noted there was ample justification for a fee award in the record, since the evidence showed that the plaintiff “not only altered and destroyed evidence to prevent relevant discovery by Defendant, but continued to modify and destroy evidence even after the court itself had made it clear that the evidence constituted an appropriate area of inquiry for Defendant.” It reduced the attorney fee amount after noting that "a fee award of nearly $80,000 would be excessive." The Court also awarded all costs based on the fact that the "retention of experts was particularly necessary to uncover Plaintiff's skulduggery."

Plasse v. Tyco Elecs. Corp., 2006 WL 3445610 (D. Mass. Nov. 8, 2006)

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