The Second Department, modifying Supreme Court in this traffic accident case, determined the defendants’ motion to inspect and collect geographical data recorded on plaintiff’s cell phone leading up to the time of the accident was properly granted but should have been limited to a specific time (1 to 4 pm):
… [T]he defendants’ motion papers sufficiently demonstrated that the production of the plaintiff’s cell phone for the inspection and collection of geographical data recorded on the device on the date of the accident may result in the disclosure of relevant evidence and was reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of information bearing on the plaintiff’s claim … . The affidavit of the defendants’ forensic expert demonstrated, among other things, that the plaintiff’s cell phone would have recorded data regarding the plaintiff’s speed and location before and at the time of the accident, which, under the particular circumstances presented, was relevant to the plaintiff’s contention that the defendant driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle … .
The Supreme Court, however, improvidently exercised its discretion in failing to limit the defendants’ inspection and collection of geographical data recorded on the plaintiff’s cell phone on the date of the accident. Under the circumstances, the defendants’ inspection and collection of geographical data from the plaintiff’s cell phone shall be limited to such data recorded between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on the date of the accident … . Pulgarin v Richmond, 2023 NY Slip Op 04605, Second Dept 9-13-23
Practice Point: Apparently a cell phone in a car records speed and location data which is discoverable in a traffic accident case.