Google is sanctioned by the court for ``destroying evidence'' and ``multiple false reports'' in a lawsuit with Epic Games

On March 29, 2023, Google was ruled ``deliberately concealed evidence'' in a lawsuit regarding antitrust violations with Epic Games. The court says it is necessary to take sanctions against Google.

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Judge finds Google destroyed evidence and repeatedly gave false info to court | Ars Technica

Epic Games and Attorneys General of 38 states in the United States and the District of Columbia, Match Group and others have filed lawsuits alleging that Google has violated antitrust laws (antitrust laws) in a class. This lawsuit is a lawsuit over Google Play, an app store for Android operated by Google. It is inflicting damage on the plaintiff group in the form.'

Judge James Donato of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, who is presiding over the case, said, 'Following sufficient consultation by both defendants and plaintiffs, and hearings that gathered eyewitness testimony and other evidence, the Court decided It is justifiable to impose sanctions on Google.'

Later in the ruling, 'Google deliberately subverted the discovery process, and chats between Google employees were 'removed to prevent them from being used in litigation' and 'the use of information from another party. There is also evidence that it was deleted to rob it, ”he said, pointing out that Google was destroying the evidence.

In February 2023, Judge Donat said the chat Google created in response to the court order 'provides further evidence that the chat Google created in response to the legal hold notice was grossly inadequate. I pointed out.

Judge Donato pointed out that the history was automatically deleted by Google's internal chat tool, and that the court and plaintiffs had 'provided false information.' Specifically, Google said that its internal data manager did not enable the setting to save chat history and deleted chat history every 24 hours.

In the case of this lawsuit, 383 Google employees were subject to the legal hold. About 40 of these were designated as evidence holders. Judge Donato pointed out that Google could have set up to save the chat history of all affected employees, but didn't do so.

Also, in October 2020, Google reported to the court that ``we have taken appropriate measures to preserve all evidence related to the issues reasonably apparent in this lawsuit.'' Until October 2021, the plaintiff did not disclose the settings for automatic deletion of chat history. Also, it wasn't until many months after asking about chat settings that Google told plaintiffs that they were using settings that automatically deleted their chat history.

Judge Donato said, ``The court had to spend considerable resources, holding several hearings and reviewing a large amount of documentary evidence to clarify the truth of the matter. has downplayed the issue: Google has claimed that there is no ability to change chat history settings for individual evidence holders from their defaults, but this has been proven wrong. We are here.”

He added, ``What is of great concern is the intention to hide chat history settings at all levels within Google. We were evaluating features: Google had the ability to store all chat history system-wide after a lawsuit was initiated, but the financial costs and other costs that would help justify that decision It appears that they chose not to do so, as there was no assessment of the factors.'

It wasn't until February 7, 2023, that Google agreed to enable a setting to save the chat histories of the 383 employees on legal hold.

According to this ruling, Google has been ordered to bear the plaintiff's court costs, and a fine may also be imposed. In addition, imposing non-monetary sanctions on Google is also being considered, but this seems to require further procedures. Epic Games and other plaintiffs are asking the court for 'jury instructions to correct Google's deletion of chat history' or 'compensatory jury instructions.'

The Department of Justice pointed out that Google had destroyed evidence in another lawsuit at the end of February 2023.

Justice Department announces that Google has destroyed evidence related to antitrust lawsuits-GIGAZINE

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