Federal judge will investigate Google for purposeful deletion of chats.

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A judge overseeing the Epic v. Google case has vowed to investigate Google for suppressing evidence. Testimonies in the trial revealed that Google automatically deleted chat messages between employees, and employees, including CEO Sundar Pichai, admitted to not changing the auto-delete setting, marking documents as legally privileged, and not attempting to audit whether employees retained evidence. The judge deemed this conduct as a “frontal assault on the fair administration of justice.”

The judge expressed deep concern over Google’s behavior, calling it “the most serious and disturbing evidence” he has ever seen. He, however, decided not to issue a “mandatory inference instruction” but instead opted for a “permissive” jury instruction, allowing the jury to decide whether missing evidence would have helped Epic and hurt Google. The judge also expressed his intention to pursue the issues outside of the trial in subsequent trials.

In summary, although the judge expressed his concerns over Google’s actions and opted for a “permissive” jury instruction, he declared his intention to further investigate the matter outside of the trial. The case is set to continue with closing arguments and jury instructions on December 11th.

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