Cause of Action for Intentional, but Not Negligent, Spoliation Recognized in U.S. Virgin Islands

The United States District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands held in Mendez v. Hovenza, LLC, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25127 (D. V.I. March 24, 2008), that: (1) “Because the common law, as generally understood and applied in the United States, does not provide for a tort of negligent spoliation against a first-party defendant, the Court predicts that the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands would not recognize such a tort” but (2) the Virgin Islands “Supreme Court would either find that a cause of action for intentional destruction of evidence is cognizable under a traditional common law theory, such as fraudulent concealment, as did the New Jersey Supreme Court, or find a new tort of intentional spoliation of evidence grounded in the Restatement (Second) of Torts, as did the New Mexico Supreme Court.”

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