Judge punishes Zillow exec for evidence destruction

  • A Washington state judge has ruled that Zillow executive Curt Beardsley destroyed evidence willfully and in bad faith in a trade secrets lawsuit between Zillow and realtor.com operator and News Corp. subsidiary Move Inc.

  • The judge will allow the suit's plaintiffs -- Move and the National Association of Realtors -- to issue an instruction to the jury in the case's upcoming June 6 trial allowing the jury to infer the missing evidence would have benefited their case -- or, alternatively, hurt Beardsley's case.
  • The judge declined to impose sanctions on Zillow or Zillow executive Errol Samuelson, also defendants in this case, saying neither "acted with the requisite willfulness or bad faith to destroy evidence to supporting spoliation sanctions."

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A Washington state judge has ruled that Zillow executive Curt Beardsley — one of the company’s top representatives to the real estate industry — destroyed evidence willfully and in bad faith in a trade secrets lawsuit between Zillow and realtor.com operator and News Corp. subsidiary Move Inc. Consequently, Judge Sean O’Donnell of King County Superior Court will allow the suit’s plaintiffs — Move and the National Association of Realtors — to issue an instruction to the jury in the case’s upcoming June 6 trial.