An insurance company and an auto auction company will not face being sued for spoliation of evidence based upon their negligent failure to preserve a vehicle involved in an auto accident that injured the vehicle’s driver. The Louisiana Supreme Court recently ruled that the state’s law does not recognize a civil claim for negligent spoliation of evidence, although the companies’ failure may allow the injured driver to sue for breach of contract.
In March 2008, a multi-vehicle wreck left Richard Reynolds injured and his car totaled. Reynolds sued one of the other drivers, Robert Bordelon III, for negligence for his role in the accident. In addition to suing Bordelon, Reynolds also advanced claims against the manufacturer of his 2003 Infiniti G35, stemming from the car’s failure to deploy its airbags in the crash. Despite the driver’s alleged requests to the contrary, the auction company that took possession of the Infiniti on behalf of Reynolds’s insurer did not preserve the car, which meant that it was never inspected for defects.