Schulman v. Saloon Beverage, Inc., No. 2:13-CV-193, 2014 WL 1516326 (D. Vt. Apr. 18, 2014)

Key Insight: Where defendants cooperated with Vermont Department of Liquor Control investigation and with their insurer and supplied records to the apparent satisfaction of both, and produced facially complete 62-page check detail, but failed to preserve the original ESI after filing for bankruptcy and closing business, court denied plaintiffs’ motion for an adverse inference instruction since failure to preserve was not deliberate or in bad faith and plaintiffs’ claimed prejudice was based on conjecture; however, because plaintiffs were prejudiced to the extent they could not explore possibility of fabrication or tampering with printout of check details, court would allow evidence of destruction of ESI in its original format to be admitted at trial

Nature of Case: Dram Shop Act and common law claims alleging that defendants’ sale of beer to individual caused head-on collision between individual’s vehicle and plaintiffs’ vehicle

Electronic Data Involved: ESI on restaurant’s computers in its original format

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