Court Allows Plaintiff to “Switch Horses in Midstream” and Use Predictive Coding (Tennessee)

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Bridgestone Americas Inc. v. Int'l Bus. Mach. Corp., No. 3:13-1196, 2014 BL 202049 (M.D. Tenn. July 22, 2014).

In this ongoing case, the plaintiff sued the defendant for a $75 million computer system that it claimed threw its “entire business operation into chaos.” The plaintiff requested that the court allow the use of predictive coding in reviewing over two million documents. The defendant opposed this request as being an unwarranted change to the original case management order, which did not include predictive coding, and that it would be unfair to use predictive coding after an initial screening had been done with keyword search terms. The court relied on Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 and stated, “that discovery [should] be tailored by the court to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible,” thus concluding that the plaintiff could use predictive coding to search the documents, even though keyword search had already been performed. The court noted that it was allowing the plaintiff to “switch horses in midstream” and consequently expected “full openness in this matter,” along with extensive cooperation among the parties. This decision arrived shortly after an opposite holding in Nevada, Progressive v. Delaney, in which the court denied the use of predictive coding because it was not stipulated in the original case management protocol.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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