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What is Spoliation?
Spoliation is when a party in a civil litigation destroys or changes evidence that they were
suppose to preserve. If a person has the intentions on destroying or changing information that
they needed to preserve, they are liable for spoliation of evidence.
Under what circumstances are business's prevented from destroying their data?
If a business can reasonable anticipate civil litigation, then that business has the obligation to
preserve evidence and information that is relevant.
What happens if the company accidentally deleted relevant information after they reasonably
anticipated litigation?
If accompany deleted relevant information after they reasonably anticipated litigation, the courts
may try to gather up the original information by applying the spoliation inference rule.
Spoliation inference rule also known as a negative evidentiary inference which means that the
courts will review the changed document with inference against the spoliator and in favor of the
opposing party. When a party destroys evidence, intentionally or “accidentally,” it shows that the
party is guilty of awareness or had other specific reasons to avoid evidence.
What are “sanctions” and what might sanctions might the tire company face?
According to, a sanction is a “financial penalty imposed by a judge on a party or
attorney for violation of a court rule, for receiving a special waiver of a rule, or as a fine for
contempt of court. If a fine, the sanction may be paid to the court or to the opposing party to
compensate the other side for inconvenience or added legal work due to the rule violation.”
According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 37, the possible sanctions are dismissal
of the spoliator’s claim, entering judgement against the spoliator, excluding expert testimony,
application of adverse inference rule, and fines on the spoliator.
Hill, Gerald and Kathleen. (n.d.)
The People's Law
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USLawEssentials. [Screen name]. (2014, July 14).
What is spoliation in a civil litigation?
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(n.d.) Spoliation Of Evidence.
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