United States District Court, S.D. New York
August 19, 2005.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF SUDAN, REV. MATTHEW MATHIAN DEANG, REV. JAMES KOUNG NINREW, NUER COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES IN U.S.A., FATUMA NYAWANG GARBANG, NYOT TOT RIETH, individually and on behalf on the Estate of her husband JOSEPH THIET MAKUAC, STEPHEN HOTH, STEPHEN KUINA, CHIEF TUNGUAR KUEIGWONG RAT, LUKA AYUOL YOL, THOMAS MALUAL KAP, PUOK BOL MUT, CHIEF PATAI TUT, CHIEF PETER RING PATAI, CHIEF GATLUAK CHIEK JANG, YIEN NYINAR RIEK, and MORIS BOL MAJOK, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
TALISMAN ENERGY, INC., and REPUBLIC OF THE SUDAN, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: DENISE COTE, District Judge
Having considered the plaintiffs' motion for discovery
sanctions pursuant to Rule 37(b) (2), Fed.R.Civ.P., pertaining
to the destruction of notebooks of James W. Buckee, the Chief
Executive Officer of defendant Talisman Energy, Inc., this Court
finds that the plaintiffs have failed to establish that the
records were "destroyed with a culpable state of mind,"
Residential Funding Corp. v. DeGeorge Fin. Corp., 306 F.3d 99,
107 (2d Cir. 2002). The plaintiffs have also failed to establish
that the unavailable notebooks are "relevant" to the plaintiffs'
claims, id. at 109, given the likelihood that any information
contained in the notebooks is replicated in other documents already produced in discovery. The adverse inference sanctions
requested by the plaintiffs are therefore inappropriate.
Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED that the plaintiffs' motion for discovery sanctions
pursuant to Rule 37(b) (2), Fed.R.Civ.P., is denied. The
parties shall bear their own costs with respect to this motion.
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