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Harrison v. Best Buy Stores

January 6, 2009

DONNA L. HARRISON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
BEST BUY STORES, L.P.,*FN1 DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, Docket No. DC-025093-06.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 16, 2008

Before Judges Skillman and Graves.

Plaintiff Donna L. Harrison appeals from an order dated February 29, 2008, dismissing her complaint with prejudice "pursuant to Rules 4:23-5(a)(2) and 6:4-6(c)," because she failed to answer interrogatories and she failed to respond to a notice to produce. We affirm.

In a Special Civil Part complaint filed on December 7, 2006, plaintiff alleged that she lost valuable business data and documents when defendant Best Buy Stores, L.P. (Best Buy) "destroyed" her computer:

I took my Compaq laptop computer to Best Buy's Geek Squad to simply have it analyzed as I was having intermittent problems, and as a result of these problems, I wanted the data backed up as a safeguard. I am a Financial Consultant and rely heavily on the files I acquired over approx[imately] five (5) years [] as a part of my research library. These files give me the ability to perform my job, produce relevant and knowledgeabl[e] information to clients expeditiously. Backing up my files ensured me that no matter what happened to my computer, I would not [lose] my ability to service the needs of my clients and maintain my livelihood. Unfortunately, my [worst] fear came true however; it was not as a result of the system crashing.

IT WAS A RESULT OF THE GEEK SQUAD'S TOTAL INCOMPETENCE TO PERFORM THE SIMPLE TASK OF COPYING FILES FROM A HARD DRIVE ONTO [A] CD ROM.

Much to my surprise and chagrin, I went to Best Buy with a complete computer, and full set of files, and I walked out with a useless hard drive and two insignificant graphics cards or memory boards. I am suing to recover the following:

1. The depreciated cost of a destroyed computer;

2. The cost charged to me for the unsuccessful service;

3. The cost to find and retype files held in hardcopy or reacquired through network contacts.

Unfortunately I will never recoup all my personal records, as well as a book I started and miscellaneous files/notes/ pictures/etc. captured and saved over the years, which are lost to me forever.

In May 2007, following a proof hearing, the court entered a default judgment against defendant in the amount of $15,000. However, on August 17, 2007, the court granted defendant's motion "to vacate default judgment and ...


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