We have previously blogged about surveillance video and how it is often a key piece of evidence in personal injury cases when such evidence is available. A lot of times surveillance videos will be available in slip and fall cases that occur in or around businesses. These videos are discoverable through litigation, meaning that an injured party has the right to request and obtain any available videos as a part of their case. This is usually accomplished by filing a request for production. In the recently decided case of McClure v. Publix Super Market, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2302, a question arose over if a surveillance videos have to be produced before a deposition of the injured party takes place.
In McClure, the Plaintiff filed a request for production on Publix for the store security video. Publix did not respond in a timely manner and so the Plaintiff had to file a motion to compel the video. Publix advised the Court that they would produce the video after the deposition of the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff appealed the trial court’s decision permitting Publix to delay production of the video until after the deposition. After review, the appellate court determined that the trial judge was within his discretion to allow the deposition to take place before Publix had to turn over the video. They stated that the trial judge has the discretion to control the timing of discovery and unless irreparable harm would occur or there is a departure from the essential requirements of the law, the appellate court will not disturb a trial court’s ruling. This case is a good lesson and reminder to always report incidents to store management and write down everything you can remember so that you can refresh your memory before any depositions and so that your testimony will be consistent with any video evidence.