HILDA FOBB TRINETTE SMITH JUANISHA WINCHESTER RAVAUGHN HARRIS PRECIOUS DIAZ AND QUINTOSHA WISHEM v. STERICYCLE INC (2023)
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit.
HILDA FOBB, TRINETTE SMITH, JUANISHA WINCHESTER, RAVAUGHN HARRIS, PRECIOUS DIAZ, AND QUINTOSHA WISHEM v. STERICYCLE, INC.
Decided: April 26, 2023
I respectfully dissent from the majority. I would grant the writ and reverse the trial court's ruling.
Jennifer Hoisington is Stericycle's Director of EHS Systems. She explained in her affidavit that her duties include the management of the Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS). SEMS is a data management system that Stericycle utilizes to track and report incident data for compliance and incident prevention purposes. As such, its primary purpose is not for maintaining litigation, insurance or claims documentation. SEMS is an external system, developed and maintained by a third party vendor, AIC. Updates to SEMS were made by AIC in approximately October 2018, June 2020 and February 2022. Following each of these updates, some data concerning historical events was no longer available via SEMS. Ms. Hoisington explained that the September 25, 2018 report regarding the subject incident was generated from SEMS and then saved outside of SEMS as a PDF before any changes were made to the SEMS data entry fields. Thus, although some data is no longer accessible via SEMS, the evidence of the data has not been destroyed, but copied and preserved in the September 2018 PDF report. That report, identified as Exhibit” B” attached to defendant's opposition to the motion for sanctions, was provided to the plaintiffs by defendant in its discovery responses. As such, there has been no destruction, change or spoliation of evidence.
For these reasons, I would grant the writ and reverse the ruling of the trial court.
DYSART, J., DISSENTS
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