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Envy Hawaii LLC v. Volvo Car USA LLC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

March 20, 2019

ENVY HAWAII LLC doing business as Volvo Cars Honolulu, Plaintiff,
v.
VOLVO CAR USA LLC, Defendant. VOLVO CAR USA LLC, Counter-Claimant,
v.
ENVY HAWAII LLC doing business as Volvo Cars Honolulu; MIKHAIL FEDOTOV, Counter-Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT VOLVO CAR USA LLC'S MOTION FOR SPOLIATION SANCTIONS (ECF NO. 116)

          HELEN GILLMOR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case involves contract disputes and claims of improper business practices between a local automobile dealership and the national distributor of Volvo automobiles.

         Envy Hawaii LLC, doing business as Volvo Cars Honolulu, was established in December 2012. Envy Hawaii LLC purchased the rights to operate the sole Volvo franchise in Hawaii.

         Envy Hawaii LLC contracted with Volvo Car USA LLC to operate its franchise. Volvo Car USA LLC is located in New Jersey and is the exclusive importer and wholesaler of Volvo automobiles in the United States.

         In 2015, Mikhail Fedotov became the sole owner and manager of Envy Hawaii LLC.

         In January 2017, Envy Hawaii LLC filed suit against Volvo Car USA LLC. Envy Hawaii LLC's First Amended Complaint alleges eight causes of action, including claims that Volvo Car USA LLC violated the Automobile Dealers' Day in Court Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1221 et seq., the Robinson-Patman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 13(a), and several Hawaii state statutes.

         Volvo Car USA LLC has filed counterclaims against both Envy Hawaii LLC and its owner Mikhail Fedotov. The Second Amended Counterclaim contains eleven causes of action including claims for fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract, unlawful recording, cybersquatting, and unjust enrichment.

         The Parties have engaged in two years of litigation, produced discovery, and conducted depositions.

         Volvo Car USA LLC has now filed a Motion for Spoliation Sanctions. Volvo Car USA LLC claims that Envy Hawaii LLC and Mikhail Fedotov failed to preserve certain electronically stored information in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e). Specifically, Volvo Car USA LLC claims Fedotov did not preserve Google e-mail accounts and electronic dealer management system records.

         Envy Hawaii LLC and Mikhail Fedotov claim no spoliation has occurred because any relevant records are available from third-parties and sanctions are not appropriate.

         Defendant Volvo Car USA LLC's MOTION FOR SPOLIATION SANCTIONS (ECF No. 116) is DENIED.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 16, 2019, Defendant filed DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SPOLIATION SANCTIONS. (ECF No. 116).

         On February 1, 2019, Plaintiff/Counterclaim Defendants filed ENVY HAWAII LLC AND MIKHAIL FEDOTOV'S MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT VOLVO CAR USA LLC'S MOTION FOR SPOLIATION SANCTIONS. (ECF No. 127).

         On February 15, 2019, Defendant filed DEFENDANT'S REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR ...


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