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Discarding Relevant Video Evidence Leads to $500,000 Judgment Against School

This case illustrates why churches should preserve footage if a lawsuit is filed or anticipated.

Key point. Churches that discard potentially relevant records, including video footage, in a pending or threatened lawsuit may be subject to potentially severe sanctions by a court.

Some churches have installed video cameras on their premises as a way to detect criminal activity. In some cases, video cameras are installed in the church office to catch financial improprieties. But the most common use of this technology is to deter incidents of child abuse and to identify perpetrators.

Whatever the reason for using video cameras, church leaders should be aware of their legal obligation to preserve such evidence in the event of litigation.

A Washington state court case illustrates the importance of preserving video camera recordings in the event of litigation.

Background

A student (the “victim”) started first grade at a public school in December 2016. Another student (the “classmate”) ...

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Posted:
  • September 8, 2022

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