Pettit v. Smith, No. CV-11-02139-PHX-DGC, 2014 WL 4425779 (D. Ariz. Sep. 9, 2014)

Key Insight: Granting in part plaintiff’s motion for spoliation sanctions, court ruled that under the special circumstances of the case and notwithstanding that it was not a party to the litigation, Arizona Department of Corrections had duty to preserve the missing evidence, its failure to do so was at least grossly negligent, evidence was plainly relevant and plaintiff was clearly prejudiced by its loss; court declined to impose case-terminating sanctions against individual defendants but would allow parties to present evidence and argument about the lost evidence and would instruct jury that ADC had a duty to preserve evidence, ADC did not preserve the evidence, and jurors may infer that lost evidence would have been favorable to plaintiff

Nature of Case: Inmate alleged correctional officers used excessive force

Electronic Data Involved: Videotape of event, photograph of plaintiff’s hand, and other documentary evidence

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