Where a plaintiff in a tractor-trailer accident case unintentionally allowed the tractor at issue to be destroyed, dismissal of the case was ruled an appropriate remedy for spoliation of evidence.
In Gardner v. R&J Express, LLC, No. E2017-00823-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 7, 2018), plaintiff owned a tractor truck that was pulling a trailer owned by defendant. While driving, plaintiff was involved in a single vehicle accident when the tractor-trailer overturned, which plaintiff alleged was caused “because the tandem axle on the trailer ‘suddenly and unexpectedly’ came loose while they were traveling down the highway.”
The accident occurred on May 29, 2015, and plaintiff retained counsel just a few weeks later on June 17, 2015. On June 24, 2015, plaintiff’s attorney sent a letter to defendant regarding plaintiff’s intention to file suit and “Defendant’s responsibility to preserve the relevant evidence.” Shortly after this letter was sent, plaintiff signed title of the tractor over to his insurance company, and the tractor was destroyed.