Doctrine of Spoliation Cases In Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the doctrine of spoliation provides that a party may not benefit from its own destruction or withholding of evidence. See Manson v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, 767 A.2d 1 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001). In considering a spoliation issue, courts must examine three factors: degree of fault of the party who altered or destroyed evidence, degree of prejudice suffered by the opposing party and availability of a lesser sanction to protect the opposing party's rights and to deter future similar conduct. See Schroeder v. Department of Transportation, 551 Pa. 243, 710 A.2d 23 (1998).