Plaintiff in Port St. Lucie v. Follano allegedly fell knee-deep into an uncovered sewer valve-access pipe, and had to be extracted by the fire department. Staffers with the city took photographs of the scene shortly after the accident, when plaintiff had been rescued and the scene was cleared.
Plaintiff returned to the site the following day and took her own photographs. However, by that time, the pipe was covered. When she filed a lawsuit, she requested the city turn over the images it had of the scene. She asserted to the court those were the only images reflecting the condition of the site at the time of the incident. But defendant countered the images weren’t necessarily indicative of the scene as it was prior to plaintiff’s fall because the site had been “significantly altered” by the rescue work of the firefighters.