There is an affirmative duty imposed upon defendants to preserve all relevant evidence in anticipation of litigation. See Williams v. Russ (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1215, 1223. In most cases, the day this duty arises the day of the injury causing event.
For other cases dealing with the altering or destruction of evidence see: Stephen Slesing, Inc. v. Walt Disney Co., (2007) 155 Cal.App.4th 736; Vallbona v. Springer, (1996) 43 Cal.App.4th 1525 and Karz v. Karl, (1982) 137 Cal.App.3d 637.
Of course there's not much you can do until a lawsuit has been filed, but if a defendant has tampered with, withheld or done the unthinkable and destroyed relevant evidence, then there are certain actions that can be taken against them. Also, you would have to be able to prove that the tapes have been tampered with. A mere allegation unsupported by proof will not justify any sanctions imposed by the Court.
This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. I am not your lawyer and I am not representing you in the underlying issue stated in your question. The response I have offered is not intended to be relied upon, you should seek out an attorney to assist in this matter.
I agree with Mr. Blain. His analysis is accurate.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
Happens all the time, but luckily there is a "spoliation of evidence" inference.
The answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is for informational purposes only.
Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
A roundup of the best tips and legal advice.