Cooper Tire has been a rich well of eDiscovery and spoliation cases. The latest, from the Supreme Court of Georgia, lists out facts from other cases indicating spoliation and contrasts them with this case, which does not indicate spoliation.
The cases on which Cooper Tire relies are distinguishable. In those cases, the plaintiff had contacted an attorney, and in many cases, had taken other steps toward litigation before allowing key evidence to be destroyed, facts that suggested actual as well as constructive contemplation of litigation. See, e.g.:
- Bridgestone/Firestone N. Am. Tire, LLC v. Campbell, 258 Ga. App. 767, 767 (574 SE2d 923) (2002) (holding that the plaintiff’s destruction of the wrecked vehicle and tires after he contacted an attorney, took pictures of the car and tires, and had the tires examined by a forensic tire engineer amounted to spoliation)
- Flury v. Daimler Chrysler Corp., 427 F3d 939, 941 (11th Cir. 2005) (holding that the plaintiff spoliated evidence by failing to preserve the wrecked vehicle after his attorney had notified the defendant of the accident and ignored the defendant’s request to inspect the vehicle)
- Silvestri, 271 F3d at 586 (holding that the plaintiff spoliated evidence by failing to preserve the wrecked vehicle after hiring an attorney and accident reconstructionists)
- Sylla-Sawdon v. Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co., 47 F3d 277, 281 (8th Cir. 1995) (holding that a spoliation sanction was proper where the plaintiff destroyed the wrecked vehicle after her counsel inspected it). Such facts are entirely absent in this case.