Declining to impose sanctions for spoliation, the court said: “First, Green did not have exclusive possession of the Explorer’s design. Ford and Green both have access to numerous sources for determining whether the Explorer’s design was defective. An examination of the specific Explorer in question is essentially irrelevant to the issue of whether it, and the thousands of others like it, were designed improperly. Therefore, the destruction of the Explorer does not prejudice Ford. Furthermore, Green did not intentionally destroy the evidence, nor did gross negligence result in the destruction of the Explorer. Although it is true that Green kept the Explorer at Hix’s lot for a period of time prior to the suit, and it is also true that Green had the Explorer investigated, Ford is not unduly prejudiced, because this case does not ‘present a situation where Plaintiffs’ expert has the benefit of insight now unavailable to Ford’s experts. From the outside it appears the parties are on equal footing’ since neither party has gained or lost any evidence crucial to determining whether the Explorer was defectively designed.” Green v. Ford Motor Co., No.08-163, 2008 WL 5070489 (S.D.Ind. Nov. 25, 2008).
Leave a Reply