Thus, the Court announced that it would sanction Teague by giving an adverse inference instruction to the jury at trial. Not surprisingly, within two weeks of that Order, the case was settled and dismissed on terms that one can only assume were very favorable to Target.
Employers have been fearful that the recent e-discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure would prove to be expensive and burdensome in managing myriad e-mails, documents, and information stored daily on corporate servers. Teague v. Target Corporation shows that e-discovery also is a potential trap for unwary employees and a potential weapon for employers to add to their arsenal of litigation tools. Companies should considering asking in discovery for e-mail addresses and computer information from all plaintiff-employees. As Target found out, you never know what you will find. As Teague v. Target Corporation points out, it's often what you do not find that proves the most helpful.