Superior Boiler Works, Inc. v. KimballAnnotate this Case
At issue here was a reserved question in Koplin v. Rosel Well Perforators of whether Kansas would recognize the tort of intentional interference with a prospective civil action by spoliation of evidence if a defendant or potential defendant in an underlying case destroyed evidence to their own advantage. Plaintiff Superior Boiler Works brought suit against Defendants, a company and two individuals, for intentional and negligent interference with actual and prospective actions by destruction of evidence. Defendants had destroyed company records after Superior sought information for use in asbestos-related litigation regarding asbestos content in materials Superior supplied to Defendants. The district court granted summary judgment to Defendants, finding (1) Defendants had no duty to preserve the records, and (2) the reserved question in Koplin did not apply to spoliation claims between those who are potential codefendants in the underlying action. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) simply being in the chain of distribution of a product or in the stream of commerce, without more, is not a special relationship that gives rise to a duty to preserve evidence, and (2) an independent tort of spoliation will not be recognized in Kansas for claims by a defendant against codefendants or potential codefendants.