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Raishevich v. Foster

247 F.3d 337 (2001)

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Raishevich v. Foster

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

247 F.3d 337 (2001)

Facts

Boris Raishevich (plaintiff) collected photographic transparencies of cannabis plants. A total of 347 transparencies were seized by the police when Raishevich was arrested. All of the transparencies were destroyed by Charles Foster (defendant), a police evidence custodian. Raishevich sued Foster, seeking damages to compensate for the destroyed transparencies. The trial court received conflicting evidence during a bench trial and determined that the value of each transparency was $200. The trial court then noted the lack of evidence related to Raishevich’s past earnings from the transparencies and determined that Raishevich’s peak publication rate would be two times per year. Based on this, the trial court calculated damages over a 30-year period at $12,000. Finally, the trial court decided to double the $12,000, resulting in a total award of $24,000, to account for the fact that Foster’s destruction of the transparencies may have hindered Raishevich’s ability to prove damages with greater specificity. After the trial court’s decision, Foster requested a reduction in damages. The trial court then reduced the damages award by half, back down to $12,000, because it had improperly applied the Bigelow principle twice. Raishevich appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Straub, J.)

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