Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

Case Blurb: Bright; Court Discusses History and Application of the Adverse Inference

Posted by rjbiii on September 9, 2008

[Requesting Party] contends that a jury should be allowed to infer from Plaza’s destruction of the recorded surveillance footage that the tenor of the evidence in the footage was unfavorable to Plaza’s case. According to Bright, therefore, the destruction of the footage showing the area prior to Bright’s fall gives rise to an inference of spoliation. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals explained the history of the spoliation inference in In re Hechinger Inv. Co. of Delaware, Inc.:
Since the early 17th century, courts have admitted evidence tending to show that a party destroyed evidence relevant to the dispute being litigated. Such evidence permitted an inference, the “spoliation inference,” that the destroyed evidence would have been unfavorable to the position of the offending party.
The Court went on to note that
the “key considerations in determining whether such a sanction is appropriate should be: (1) the degree of fault of the party who altered or destroyed the evidence; (2) the degree of prejudice suffered by the opposing party; and (3) whether there is a lesser sanction that will avoid substantial unfairness to the opposing party and, where the offending party is seriously at fault, will serve to deter such conduct by others in the future.”

Bright v. United Corp., 2008 WL 2971769 (V.I. July 22, 2008).

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