If you work in construction, there’s always a possibility that you will have to deal with a construction defect claim. Many of these types of cases can result in sanctions for spoliation of evidence if an individual fails to preserve evidence required by the court.
In this two-part article, an Orlando construction lawyer will discuss what spoliation of evidence cases entail and incidents in which a contractor is legally obligated to preserve evidence. Remember, if you’ve been accused of a construction defect or are involved in a potential claim that requires you to preserve evidence, consult the Orlando construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law.
Understanding the Basics of Spoliation Claims
Spoliation of evidence refers to the destruction or alteration of evidence related to a dispute. This evidence can be willfully destroyed, accidentally destroyed, or the result of some form of negligence. Regardless, when valuable evidence isn’t preserved by the party legally instructed to do so, this can result in liability issues for the party that destroyed the evidence.
The Legal Process of Assessing Spoliation Claims
If spoliation of evidence occured, the court will assess the following things:
- First, the court will determine if the party responsible for spoliation of evidence was acting in good faith or not by destroying the evidence. In other words, if it’s clear that the contractor deliberately destroyed evidence, this can result in increased sanctions for their misdeed.
- Second, if the evidence was extremely relevant to the dispute and the destruction of this evidence significantly impacts the opposing side’s legal argument, this can elevate the penalty for the spoliation of evidence.
Spoliation of evidence cases are common in the construction industry. To learn more about the penalties for these types of cases, please read part two of our series.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.