In Minna v. Energy Coal, S.p.A., et al., No. 267, 2009, (Del. Supr., Nov. 16, 2009), read opinion here, the Delaware Supreme Court upheld a default judgment in eight figures and monetary penalties in substantial six figures, imposed as retribution for multiple violations of several discovery orders and related pre-trial deadlines that were flouted by the defendants in this case.
Delaware’s high court has given the trial courts in Delaware, with this opinion, in a figurative (and maybe hyperbolic) sense, a "sword of Damocles" to dangle over the heads of any party who flagrantly flouts orders of the court regarding discovery and related pre-trial matters. Although one might argue that the egregious facts of this case may categorize it as sui generis, it still provides ammunition for the arsenal of any trial judge who feels that a party is not complying with his orders.