David N. Nissenberg On Spoliation Of Discoverable Evidence In Truck Accident Cases

David N. Nissenberg On Spoliation Of Discoverable Evidence In Truck Accident Cases

Truck accident expert David Nissenberg discusses the preservation of evidence in truck accident cases . The destruction, concealment or suppression of evidence is referred to as spoliation of evidence, and the ramifications and potential penalties for such conduct can be severe. Nissenberg also takes a look at the type of evidence available at the outset of any truck-accident case and advises how counsel should go about preserving key evidence. He writes:

“There is no uniform response among the various jurisdictions to a party's destruction, concealment, or suppression of evidence needed by another party to prove its case. Generically referred to as ‘spoliation of evidence,’ most courts generally recognize a ‘duty to preserve evidence if a reasonable person in the party's position should have foreseen that the evidence would be material to a potential lawsuit.’ See, e.g., Jones v. Macias, 374 Ill. App. 3d 918, 817 N.E.2d 98, 105 (2007). However, the courts differ on the remedies available to the aggrieved party. . . .

“The type of evidence needed to prove the essential elements of a truck-accident case based on principles of negligence or products liability includes numerous items that by law, agreement, or business practice may be destroyed or become unavailable before trial unless the party desirous of using the evidence has made a sufficient demand on the other side for their retention.”

The author discusses some of the more important documents likely to have an impact in trucking litigation, as well as the time-retention requirements contained in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

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