The parties involved in the Mass Tort litigation (surrounding the defective birth control products YAZ®, Yasmin® and Ocella®) have been ordered to confer and reach an agreement on all issues regarding the preservation of documents and data. The goal of preservation is to maintain the integrity of all documents, data and tangible things pursuant to R. 4:10 through R. 4:19. The issues that surround the preservation, include, but are not limited to, identifying the types of material to be preserved, mechanisms for monitoring, certifying and auditing custodian compliance, the methods to preserve material such as voicemail and electronic mail, and the anticipated costs of preservation and ways to reduce or share these costs. The duty to preserve this material extends to employees, agents, contractors, or other nonparties who possess documents or data relevant to this litigation.
It is important to note that this duty to preserve documents also extends to the individual plaintiffs. All plaintiffs have a duty to preserve documents, data and tangible things, or evidence, which may be relevant to this litigation. Preservation of such documents includes taking reasonable steps to prevent the partial or full destruction, alteration, deletion, relocation, theft or wiping of the documents. This duty of preservation of documents and data, includes, but is not limited to all hard copy and electronic drafts of: records, writings, files, voicemail, correspondence, e-mail, electronic messages, blogs, postings, instant messages, text messages, twitter messages, bills, invoices, checks, statements, receipts, reports, notes, memoranda, transcripts, films, videos and diagrams.