Where plaintiffs sued for $500,000 in flood damages to a bus and trailer, but disposed of the bus and trailer shortly after the flood before defendant could examine the alleged damages, the Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the gross negligence claim based on spoliation of evidence.
In Legacy Five Leasing, LLC v. Busforsale.com, LLC, No. M2019-01615-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 27, 2020), plaintiffs leased a parking space for their bus and trailer from defendant. When leasing the space, plaintiffs signed an agreement that stated that defendant “assumed no liability or responsibility for damages to [the bus and/or trailer] due to theft, vandalism, fire, flood or other acts of God or man,” and the agreement stated that plaintiffs’ equipment would be “parked in a floodway or floodplain.”
Less than a year after the agreement was signed, the parking lot flooded, and plaintiffs claimed their bus and trailer were extensively damaged. Plaintiffs “confronted” defendant just four days after the flood regarding defendant’s actions with respect to the flood. The following day, plaintiffs gave control of the bus and trailer to their insurance company, and the property was disposed of before defendant could examine any of the alleged damage.