Plaintiff Spoliates Evidence; Case Dismissed

Today a local court dismissed a product liability case brought against a mobility device manufacturer. A person with disabilities was using a power scooter and was injured. The person asserted the injuries occurred because the power scooter was defective and notified the manufacturer. The manufacturer wrote the person and asked that he preserve the power scooter so it could be inspected.

The person later filed a lawsuit and the manufacturer hired shareholder Brian K. Terry to defend it. When Mr. Terry asked to inspect the power scooter, as had been anticipated, the person advised the power scooter had been discarded. No inspection was ever performed.

Mr. Terry asked the court to dismiss the case. The person alleged the power scooter was defective but the manufacturer was never given an opportunity to evaluate the power scooter and determine what happened. The person argued for an adverse inference or presumption in lieu of dismissal, which may be appropriate in mere negligence cases. The court agreed with Mr. Terry that such an analysis does not apply to product liability cases. The court then dismissed the case.