Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pennsylvania Superior Court Touches Upon Spoliation in Products Liability Case Against Ford Motor Company

The Pennsylvania Superior Court’s recent decision in the case of Parr v. Ford Motor Company, 2014 Pa. Super. 281 (Pa. Super. Dec. 22, 2014)(En Banc)(Op. by Shogan, J.)(Wecht, J. Concurring), is notable due to the court’s decision, in part, that the trial court did not err in issuing a spoliation charge to the jury and permitting the introduction of spoliation evidence by the Defendant where the Plaintiffs stipulated that they had failed to preserve the vehicle in a products liability case.  It was also stipulated that the Defendant, Ford Motor Company, never had a chance to examine the vehicle.  

The court found that the defense was clearly prejudiced by the destruction of the evidence since multiple experts testified that, in examination of the vehicle, would have aided their analyses.  

Accordingly, the Superior Court in Parr found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in given an adverse inference jury instruction as a sanction under the circumstances presented.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of the Majority Opinion may click this LINK.

Judge Wecht's Concurring Opinion may be viewed HERE

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