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Archive for October 29th, 2010

Case Blurb: Magner; Focus of Spoliation Sanctions is to Deter Attempts to Suppress the Truth (8th Cir.)

Posted by rjbiii on October 29, 2010

Also critical to our decision is the magistrate judge’s conclusion that the [Producing Party] did not intentionally destroy or withhold evidence in an attempt to suppress the truth. See Greyhound Lines, 485 F.3d at 1035 (“The ultimate focus for imposing sanctions for spoliation of evidence is the intentional destruction of evidence indicating a desire to suppress the truth[.]”). To be sure, a district court does not abuse its discretion by imposing sanctions, even absent an explicit bad faith finding, where a party destroys specifically requested evidence after litigation has commenced. Stevenson, 354 F.3d at 749-50. However, where a court expressly finds, as here, that there is no evidence of intentional destruction of evidence to suppress the truth, then the district court also acts within its discretionary limits by denying sanctions for spoliation of evidence. See Morris v. Union Pac. R.R., 373 F.3d 896, 901 (8th Cir. 2004) (“The most important consideration in our analysis is the district court’s own finding regarding Union Pacific’s intent.”).

Gallagher v. Magner, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 18245 (8th Cir. Minn. Sept. 1, 2010)

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