This case involves allegations of evidence tampering in relation to a wrongful death action. A patron at the defendant bar consumed approximately 4 drinks or more prior to leaving the establishment. She was allegedly visibly intoxicated and impaired while continuing to order and consume drinks. While driving, the patron blacked out and struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk, killing him. A breathalyzer revealed that the impaired driver had a BAC of .14 at the time of the accident. The plaintiff alleged that the accident was a result of the patron being over-served and allowed to leave the bar when she was visibly impaired. To this end, the defense retained an expert in video forensics and visual surveillance to recover and review footage of her drinking at the bar before the accident.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please discuss your background in digital video forensics. How long have you been practicing in this capacity?
- 2. Are you able to review the case and/or inspect the video system, to determine if there has been any tampering of evidence?
- 3. Are you able to recover deleted footage?
Expert Witness Response E-074587
I am a certified forensic examiner with almost 15 years of digital forensic and over 20 years of IT experience. I am regularly tendered as an expert witness, and my firm handles family law, criminal, business and employee misconduct cases, as well as wrongful death cases. I travel around the country examining mobile devices for accident cases as well. This is something I can assist with; my firm does a lot of work with DVRs. I have not testified in a case exactly like this case, but I have testified about video evidence and DVRs in a criminal case before. I testify regularly and typically find myself in court about once a week. Depending upon the type of DVR, the size of the HD and the retention policy our chances of recovering the data may be slim, unless steps were taken to preserve the DVR or it was taken out of service. Sometimes if we can’t get the video, we can at least extract log files that can tell us when the system was accessed and what may have been done. Actual conscious tampering is rare; losing data from inaction or upgrades is more common.