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Bridge Tower Dental, P.A. v. Meridian Computer Center, Inc.

Supreme Court of Idaho
272 P.3d 541 (2012)


Facts

Bridge Tower Dental (plaintiff) hired a consultant to help improve its computer system. The consultant provided Bridge Tower with a bid from Meridian Computer Center (defendant), which Bridge Tower accepted. A short time later, the consultant noticed some problems with Bridge Tower’s system. The consultant immediately took Bridge Tower’s server and hard drives to Meridian for repair under Bridge Tower’s warranty. Both parties agreed that a bailment was created when Bridge Tower entrusted Meridian with the equipment. At trial the consultant testified that he told Meridian to back up Bridge Tower’s data; Meridian denied this testimony and claimed that it was standard practice across the industry for customers to back up their own data. Bridge Tower’s data was not backed up. While working on the equipment, Meridian inadvertently erased all of Bridge Tower’s data. Bridge Tower was left with no way to access its data, which included all of its patients’ records and contact information. Bridge Tower filed suit against Meridian, alleging breach of contract and negligence. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Meridian. Bridge Tower filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which the trial court denied. The case made its way to the state supreme court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)

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