Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Negligence Action for Damages Arising from Third-Party Spoliation Permitted Under New York Law

From Newton v. City of New York, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54084 (S.D.N.Y. July 16, 2008):

New York does not recognize the tort of "third-party negligent spoliation of evidence." [N. 126: Ortega v. City of New York, 9 N.Y.3d 69 (2007).] However, the courts appear to permit an action for the negligent destruction of evidence so long as the plaintiff can meet the requirements of a standard negligence action. In rejecting the spoliation cause of action, the Court of Appeals explained that "plaintiffs seek recognition of a new cause of action because they cannot meet the traditional proximate cause and actual damages standards at the foundation of our common-law tort jurisprudence."

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