Real estate listing behemoths Move and Zillow both say they are happy with the latest ruling from a King County Superior Court (statements below).
Both are currently locked in a lengthy and expensive (multi-billion-dollar) court battle over executive personnel and trade secrets.
According to a ruling from the honorable judge Sean P. O’ Donnell in Seattle (h/t: Geekwire) “The evidence does not support a finding that defendant Zillow acted willfully or in bad faith with respect to any evidence allegedly lost due to spoliation,” the ruling states.
“There was no evidence presented that Zillow was in possession of any of the so-called missing storage devices,” the ruling states.
Move called for court sanctions against Zillow, claiming two former Move executives destroyed intellectual property before taking jobs at Zillow.
Read the ruling here.
The Move call for sanctions may be broadly administered by the courts, if approved. As it stands the ruling allows for certain, pertaining facts to be presented to the jury (the case is currently in discovery), but will not allow Move to assert that Zillow knowingly destroyed evidence in an attempt to hurt Move’s business.
Follow HousingWire for more coverage on this important issue later today.
Statements from both sides will be presented more fully then.
In the meantime, here are two quick soundbites showing both companies are pleased with today's ruling.
Zillow put out this statement:
“We applaud the Court’s decision with respect to Zillow, which validates what we already knew: that during the pre-trial hearing, News Corp did not offer evidence that Zillow did anything wrong or that the company failed to live up to our obligations in this case. We look forward to vigorously defending against the claims in this litigation during the jury trial.”
And Move put out this statement:
“We welcome the judge’s decision that there will be a jury instruction, which will allow the jury to “infer the missing evidence would have benefited plaintiff’s case or alternatively hurt the defendant’s.” Today’s decision, when combined with the powerful evidence that has not been destroyed, will help us prove our case that our trade secrets were stolen and abused by the defendants to their advantage.”