Wyatt Employment Law Report

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$7,494,459.90 for Discovery Abuses

By Michael D. Hornback

Most lawyers (let’s be honest…all litigation lawyers) have had the unfortunate experience of getting an unfavorable ruling from a court, which they then have to pass on to their client. Those situations always make me psychically ill. I cannot imagine the torment Delta Airlines, Inc.’s counsel was in when they received an Order from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on August 3, 2015 (a Monday no less) requiring their client to pay $2,718,795.05 in sanctions for discovery abuses. I guess Delta was somewhat ready for it, given that it had previously been ordered to pay $4,775,664.85 for separate (but related) discovery missteps. Oh yeah, to add insult to injury, there was no evidence that Delta intentionally destroyed a single document.

This multidistrict litigation involves allegations that Delta and AirTran Airways, Inc. violated the Sherman Act by colluding to implement a “first-bag” fee. In February 2009, prior to the filing of any civil action, the Department of Justice served a Continue reading