Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Inadvertent Spoliation Warrants Dismissal

From Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Mid-South Drillers Supply, Inc., 2008 Tenn. App. LEXIS 39 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 25, 2008):

The issue presented by this appeal is whether a trial court may exercise its discretion granted under rules 34 and 37 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss a party's case for spoliation of evidence where the spoliation may have been inadvertent rather than intentional. We hold that the trial court has the discretion to sanction a party by dismissal of its case where the party's destruction of evidence severely prejudices an adverse party's defense irrespective of whether the destruction was inadvertent or intentional. We accordingly affirm the trial court judgement.

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