Thursday, April 24, 2008

2008-04-24 SDNY - Ordinary Negligence Satisfies Culpability Prong in Spoliation Analysis

In an April 2, 2008 decision the Court reaffirms what some continue to doubt is clear from the 2nd Circuit's opinion in Residential Funding Corp. v. DeGeorge Financial Corp., 306 F.3d 99, 106-07 (2d Cir .2002). At least in the Second Circuit, the culpability prong of a spoliation analysis (the others are are control, duty to preserve and relevance) is satisfied by a finding of "mere" or ordinary negligence.

"In this circuit, a 'culpable state of mind' for purposes of a spoliation inference includes ordinary negligence. Residential Funding, 306 F.3d at 108.Thus, because Biovail was at least negligent, Mr. Treppel has satisfied his burden with respect to the second prong of the spoliation test." Treppel v. Biovail Corp. --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2008 WL 866594 (S.D.N.Y. 2008).

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