The First Department, reversing Supreme Court’s dismissal of the complaint during trial, determined the plaintiff’s failure to turn over a videotape of the event during which plaintiff allegedly tripped on a cord and fell did not justify dismissing the complaint. On the third day of the trial plaintiff testified she had found a videotape of the event which had been misplaced. The videotape did not show the trip and fall, but allegedly did show the cord which caused the fall:
Under the particular circumstances of this case, the court abused its discretion in dismissing the complaint due to plaintiff’s belated disclosure of a video. Although CPLR 3101(i) requires disclosure of “any films, photographs, video tapes or audio tapes” of a party upon demand … , there was insufficient evidence of willful or contumacious conduct on plaintiff’s part, or prejudice to [defendant], to warrant the dismissal of her complaint in the midst of the jury trial ,,,, even if the dismissal was without prejudice.
There was no court order directing plaintiff to produce the video, and [defendant’s] discovery demands only requested that she produce photographs. Furthermore, plaintiff, who claimed to have misplaced the video, did not seek to introduce the edited video, which did not show her fall, into evidence at trial, and was willing to consent to its preclusion, the striking of her testimony concerning its existence, and a curative instruction, even though she believed the video to be favorable to her because it showed a cord across the floor and one of [defendant’s] principals standing in the vicinity. Fox v Grand Slam Banquet Hall, 2016 NY Slip Op 05897, 1st Dept 8-25-16
NEGLIGENCE (PLAINTIFF’S FAILURE TO TURN OVER A VIDEOTAPE OF THE EVENT AT WHICH PLAINTIFF WAS INJURED DID NOT WARRANT THE DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT DURING THE JURY TRIAL)/EVIDENCE (CIVIL, PLAINTIFF’S FAILURE TO TURN OVER A VIDEOTAPE OF THE EVENT AT WHICH PLAINTIFF WAS INJURED DID NOT WARRANT THE DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT DURING THE JURY TRIAL)