The Montana Supreme Court says companies must preserve video recorded at the time of a workplace accident, even if company officials determined the footage is not relevant.
The court said in a 6-1 ruling Friday that a judge, not the company, must decide whether the footage is valuable.
The ruling was made in a case brought by a machinist against BNSF Railway Company in a 2009 accident. Mark Spotted Horse says BNSF destroyed video footage that would have provided evidence of his claims of the company’s negligence.
Company officials say they reviewed footage from the closest camera after the accident and concluded it did not show the alleged injury. The video was later overwritten.
The court ruled BNSF should have been sanctioned and the justices ordered a new trial for Spotted Horse.