Archive: January 7, 2011

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Jury to Determine Question of Bad Faith and Whether to Draw Adverse Inference as Sanction for Loss of Video Pursuant to Document Retention Policy

Jury to Determine Question of Bad Faith and Whether to Draw Adverse Inference as Sanction for Loss of Video Pursuant to Document Retention Policy

Rattray v. Woodbury County, 2010 WL 5437255 (N.D. Iowa Dec. 27, 2010)

In this case, the court imposed sanctions for defendants’ failure to preserve relevant video footage and ordered an instruction allowing the jury to determine whether the recording was destroyed in bad faith and, if so, to infer that it would have been unfavorable to the defendants.  In so holding, the court cited as an important factor that the video was the only recording of what occurred, “which weighs heavier in this case than the lack of actual knowledge that litigation was imminent at the time of the destruction.”

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