The law in Pennsylvania is well settled as to defining and sanctioning spoliation of evidence. “Spoliation is the destruction or significant alteration of evidence, or the failure to preserve property for another’s use as evidence in pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation.” Pyeritz v. Com., 613 Pa. 80, 88 n.4, 32 A.3d 687, 692 n.4 (2011), quoting West v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 167 F.3d 776, 779 (2d Cir.1999), citing in turn Black’s Law Dictionary 1401 (6th ed.1990). “A plaintiff has a general duty to preserve relevant evidence where: (1) the plaintiff knows that litigation against the defendants is pending or likely; and (2) it is foreseeable that discarding the evidence would be prejudicial to the defendants.” Mount Olivet Tabernacle Church v. Edwin L. Wiegand Div., 781 A.2d 1263, 1270-71 (Pa.Super.,2001), citing Baliotis v. McNeil, 870 F.Supp. 1285, 1290 (M.D.Pa.1994). See also, Pennsylvania Trust Co. v. Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc. 2011 WL 2789336, at 5 (E.D.Pa., 2011) (“A duty to preserve evidence arises when the party knows that litigation is pending or likely, and it is foreseeable that discarding the evidence would be prejudicial to the other party”, citing Creazzo v Medtronic. Inc., 903 A.2d 24, 29 (Pa.Super. 2006)).
Continue reading “Observations on Spoliation of Evidence in Pennsylvania Law”