UTStarcom, Inc. v. Starent Networks, Corp., No. 07 C 2582, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 22, 2009) (Bobrick, Ret. J. & Special Master).
Special Master Bobrick, a retired judge, denied defendant Starent’s motion to dismiss plaintiff UTSI’s trade secret misappropriation claim for repeatedly deficient interrogatory responses related to the claim. Over the course of a year, UTSI served six responses to the interrogatories at issue based upon various requests by Starent and orders by the Special Master. After the sixth set of responses, Starent agreed that the answers were sufficient. Starent, however, requested dismissal of the claim based upon UTStarcom’s repeated failure to provide a substantive answer. UTStarcom responded that dismissal was a drastic remedy that was not warranted because had provided substantive answers and because Starent had not been prejudiced by the delay. UTStarcom even suggested other remedies like exclusion of late produced evidence. The Special Master held that it was a close case and that either outcome would be defensible. The Court however, denied Starent’s motion to dismiss but did award attorney’s fees for the filing of Starent’s motion.