Elissavet Gogos sued Modell's Sporting Goods after she slipped and fell (on a piece of mango) in one of the company's New York stores.
During the course of pre-trial questioning, a general manager, Cesar Abreu, noted that when an accident occurs, security tapes are copied onto a DVD and kept in the store's office safe. And although the New York County Supreme Court directed Modell's to provide that evidence to Gogos' lawyer, the company never did so.
While one of Modell's representatives later advised the court that the tapes had been destroyed before the turn-over order had issued, the judge was of the view the company had intentionally destroyed the evidence and struck Modell's answer.
On appeal, the Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed. It was particularly displeased with the fact that the company officer, who advised the court of the DVD's destruction, lacked "personal knowledge" of the underlying facts and circumstances.
Not very sportsmanlike.
To view a copy of the Appellate Division's decision, please use this link: Gogos v. Modell's Sporting Goods, Inc.