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Appellate

Kambylis v. Defendant Automobile Manufacturer

Illinois Appellate Court, First District, 788 N.E.2d 1 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2003)01/01/2003

Client:

Defendant Automobile Manufacturer

Outcome:

Summary Judgment in Favor of Defendant Affirmed

Synopsis:
Plaintiff filed suit claiming injury when the air bag in his automobile did not inflate following an accident. The vehicle was towed to a city pound and eventually destroyed because it was never claimed or recovered. Holding that the plaintiff had a duty to preserve the evidence, the trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant. The appellate court ruled that the doctrine of spoliation of evidence should be extended to a plaintiff’s “passive spoliation,” i.e. spoliation through inaction as opposed to action. The appellate court held that a plaintiff cannot be free to stand by while crucial evidence may be altered or destroyed, and that a plaintiff has a duty to take all reasonable steps to notify the manufacturer of its potential claim and to preserve the evidence.

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