Bridge Tower Dental, P.A. v. Meridian Computer Center, Inc.Annotate this Case
In 2003, Appellant Bridge Tower Dental hired Respondent Meridian Computer Center to provide its dental practice with a computer hardware system subject to a warranty contract. In June of 2005, Bridge began experiencing problems with its server. Bridge Tower Dental entrusted its computer server, including both of its hard drives, to Meridian in order to repair or restore the failing hard drive. While attempting to restore the failing hard drive, Respondent mistakenly confused the source and destination locations on the motherboard and inadvertently erased all of Bridge's data, including the practice's patient records, from the working hard drive. Bridge filed suit against Meridian for breach of contract and negligence under the law of bailment. At trial, the district court denied Bridge's request to submit different jury instructions for the separate claims, and instead combined the contract claim with the negligent bailment claim in the final jury instructions. The jury entered a general verdict in favor of Meridian. Bridge filed a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict, or alternatively, a Motion for New Trial, both of which were denied by the district court. The court entered an order awarding attorney's fees and costs to Meridian. Bridge appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the district court erred in denying its Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict because Meridian failed to prove that it was not negligent in erasing the data contained on the working hard drive, that the court erred in denying the Motion for New Trial because the jury instructions were improper, and that the district court erred in awarding attorney's fees and costs. Upon review, the Supreme Court reversed the district court's denial of Bridge's post-trial motion and vacated the lower court's award of attorney's fees because Meridian was no longer the prevailing party.