MADISON, Wis. -

A Wisconsin appeals court says Target Corp. destroyed evidence crucial to a customer's claim that chemicals in an air mattress box she purchased sickened her family.

Cheryl Cody and her family sued Target in 2009. They alleged Cody bought what she thought was an air mattress from a Madison store in 2006. The box actually contained a jar of roach killer.

She returned the box to the store and called a Target customer service center and said her family was having allergic reactions. Several days after the call, Target destroyed the box and the items inside.

A Dane County judge ruled the retail chain should have known the items were potential evidence. The 4th District Court of Appeals upheld that ruling Thursday.

Target's attorney didn't immediately return a message.