Deleted Text Messages Result in Sanctions, Dismissal of Employment Claims |

A plaintiff’s production of fraudulent text messages in a federal employment case resulted in sanctions, including dismissal of his action with prejudice, and a $10,000 penalty to partially reimburse the defendant for costs incurred through the engagement of a forensic expert witness.

According to the opinion, plaintiff Anthony Gunter filed an eight-count, fourth amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on Aug. 25, 2021, for various employment-related claims against Alutiiq. Gunter was deposed by Alutiiq on Sept. 10, 2021, and was questioned about text messages he produced in response to the company’s Rule 34 requests. During that deposition, Gunter acknowledged he deleted portions of text message threads.

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