New Section Added to Virginia Code §8.01-379.2:1
On March 7, 2019, the Virginia legislature passed S1619, which added a new section to the Virginia code addressing spoliation at § 8.01-379.2:1. Governor Ralph Northam signed the new legislation into law on March 21, 2019.
S1619 creates an affirmative duty to preserve evidence that a party should reasonably foresee as being relevant to a future lawsuit. The law instructs courts to examine all of the circumstances when determining when the duty to preserve evidence is triggered. Courts must evaluate when the party in possession of the evidence (1) had notice litigation was likely, and (2) realized that the evidence in question would be relevant to the lawsuit.
The Legislature Provides Two Different Spoliation Remedies
The legislature also provided two different spoliation remedies. First, S1619 provides that when