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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

New Opinion on Spoliation of Evidence: Dismissal of Plaintiffs' Case Upheld on Appeal

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently issued its opinion in Gardner v. R & J Express, LLC, No. E2017-00823-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 7, 2018).  Here is the syllabus from the slip opinion:
In this negligence action that arose from a tractor-trailer accident, the trial court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims following the court’s determination that a critical piece of evidence had been destroyed by the plaintiffs, resulting in severe prejudice to the defendant. The court further determined that dismissal was the only equitable remedy for the plaintiffs’ spoliation of evidence. The plaintiffs timely appealed the dismissal of their claims. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm. 
Here is a link to the slip opinion: