Government Sanctioned for Failure to Preserve Documents
In United States ex rel. Baker v. Community Health Sys., Inc, No. 05-279-WJ-ACT (D.N.M. Oct. 3, 2012), the U.S. District Court in New Mexico upheld sanctions against the government for failing to preserve electronically stored information in a False Claims Act case, ordering the government to produce certain privileged materials. This case provides valuable reminders that the government's duty to preserve evidence may arise long before it intervenes and that merely issuing a litigation hold is not in and of itself sufficient to satisfy the duty to preserve, but parties also must take diligent steps to implement and monitor compliance with preservation obligations.
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