(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)
It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this slip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, SaveMart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.
Even if the loss of the videotape was only negligent, CACI 203 (Party Having Power to Produce Better Evidence) instructs that the jury may draw an adverse inference against XYZ Market: You may consider the ability of each party to provide evidence. If a party provided weaker evidence when it could have provided stronger evidence, you may distrust the weaker evidence. This is based on Evidence Code section 412, which, provides: If weaker and less satisfactory evidence is offered when it was within the power of the party to produce stronger and more satisfactory evidence, the evidence offered should be viewed with distrust. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
There is videotape capability in the area where Ms. Black fell. XYZ Market insists that there is not and has never been any video taken on the incident date showing the area of Ms. Black’s fall. In direct contradiction, Charles Black has testified under oath that he was told by both Tom Miller and Kim Li of XYZ Market’s Risk Management Department that videotape of the slip and fall scene did in fact exist, and that XYZ Market was reviewing the tape in order to investigate Maggie Black’s accident. This presents an issue of fact whether XYZ Market did either lose or destroy the videotape. If it did, then the jury may draw an adverse inference that the videotape would have shown conditions detrimental to XYZ Market’s defense.
This Court should therefore deny the present motion on the additional triable issue of material fact concerning spoliation of evidence.
For the reasons stated above, the Court should deny defendant’s present motion.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.