Kiley Harrison

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Case Summary

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Case Synopsis

Eight plaintiffs who were injured after a MDB trailer’s gate opened, dumping its contents onto the interstate, sued MDB and Versa. MDB cross-claimed against Versa, alleging the trailer’s Versa valve was designed defectively and dangerously, ultimately causing the accident.

A year went by between the accident and the start of litigation. During this time, MDB mechanics made regular maintenance repairs to the trailer that dumped on the interstate. The mechanics threw away the materials that were replaced, not believing they would be relevant to future litigation. The district court ordered case-terminating sanctions for MDB’s spoliation of evidence. The Nevada Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case because the record did not support the imposition of such severe sanctions because MDB did not act willfully and Versa had not proved incurable prejudice if case-terminating sanctions were not applied.