Barnett v. Simmons, 2008 WL 4853360 (Okla. Nov. 10, 2008). In this breach of contract case, the trial court required willfulness for the imposition of sanctions and the plaintiffs appealed. The Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the trial court's ruling, but remanded for consideration of whether sanctions could be imposed for mere negligence. Both sides petitioned for writs of certiorari. In the underlying dispute, the plaintiff sought unpaid royalties on an oil lease and the defendant filed a motion to compel production of certain files on the plaintiff's computer. Defendant's motion to compel was granted by the trial court. Subsequently, the plaintiff enlisted the help of several computer experts to remove alleged viruses, neglecting to mention that the hard drive was the subject of a court order. During the expert analysis, several files were deleted as a result of the use of numerous data wiping programs. Citing Oklahoma's discovery code section 3237(B)(2) (which mirrors Fed.R.Civ.Pro. 37(b)(2) and authorizes sanctions for the failure to comply with a court order) the Court held that the trial court erred as a matter of law in determining that sanctions could be imposed only upon a showing of willful conduct. The Court determined that willfulness is relevant to the severity of sanctions imposed, but not to whether sanctions should be imposed. Accordingly, the Court reversed and remanded for reconsideration of the defendants' motion for sanctions. (Bold/Italics added).