Wachtel v. Health Net

239 F.R.D. 81 (2006)

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Wachtel v. Health Net

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
239 F.R.D. 81 (2006)

RW

Facts

Zev and Linda Wachtel joined other policyholders (plaintiffs) in a federal-court lawsuit against their insurer, Health Net, Inc. (defendant). Health Net greatly increased the cost and duration of electronic discovery (e-discovery) by deliberately concealing key information about the range of relevant electronically stored information (ESI) in its possession, covering up the shoddiness of its search for that ESI, and withholding or spoliating relevant ESI. Throughout the five-year duration of e-discovery, the court issued over 165 orders and opinions designed to expedite the discovery process, but Health Net deliberately misinterpreted or simply ignored any order with which it disagreed. The court granted the policyholders’ motion to consider what sanctions were within the court’s inherent power to preserve the integrity of the judicial process and appropriate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hochberg, J.)

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