Charles v. City of New York, No. 12-CV-6180 (SLT)(SMG), 2017 WL 530460 (E.D.N.Y., Feb. 8, 2017)

Key Insight: Where Plaintiff lost the phone containing relevant video footage of the incident leading to plaintiff?s arrest when she attended a ?gala? carrying a ?really small purse? and thus had to hand-carry or lay down her phone and where she failed to call the banquet hall to determine if her phone was recovered (although she apparently did call her phone?s service provider and a relevant cab company in furtherance of her recovery efforts), the court declined to find that the loss was intentional and reasoned that the evidence suggested ?at most mere negligence? and that because there was a ?genuine issue of material fact regarding what transpired during the videotaping, the court [could] not find that the lost videotape was likely to favor Defendants? and thus denied the motion for sanctions without prejudice to renewal at trial if ?Defendants could adduce evidence ? that the lost video recording was likely to be favorable to them?; notably, court applied common law spoliation analysis for loss of the phone, recognizing that the common law applied, ?except in cases involving electronically stored information?

Nature of Case: Constitutional claims arising from arrest following alteration with police while Plaintiff recorded police activities

Electronic Data Involved: Lost phone containing video footage of incident leading to arrest

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