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Subsequent Remedial Measures

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We talk to a number of persons day in and day out who were injured as a result of a premises liability case, whether it is a trip and fall or slip and fall accident. Many times, they will tell us they have photographs of what made them fall; further, they may inform us that several days or weeks, or even months after the accident they went back to the place where their accident occurred and the problem or defect that made them fall was repaired and the problem cured. They want to know if they photograph or document that, can it come into evidence?

The issue is does it somehow imply fault that after the accident, the place was repaired or fixed when the landowner became aware there was a problem with their premises. Can you introduce what is called “Subsequent Remedial Measures into evidence at trial?

 

The answer is generally no. Evidence of repairs or alterations made after the fact cannot come into evidence as proof of negligence in an ordinary or routine common law action for negligence.

Sec. 904.07 of the Wisconsin Statutes, specifically addresses this issue; Subsequent remedial measures. “When, after an event, measures are taken which, if taken previously would have made the event less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is no admissible to prove negligence or culpable conduct in connection with the event. This section does not require the exclusion of evidence of subsequent measures, when offered for another purpose, such as providing ownership, control, or feasibility of precautionary measures, if controverted, or impeachment or proving a violation of s. 101.11.”

This rule however, is modified in the case of a violation of Wisconsin’s “safe place statute.” When it comes to a safe place violation, it is considered that subsequent precautions has a tendency to prove that the place or thing was not as safe at the time of the accident as it reasonably could have been. Under this circumstance, the repair or maintenance can be introduced into evidence.

Were you injured as a result of a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, while at a business or store? Call one of our experienced personal injury lawyers at Karp & Iancu, S.C. today for a free consultation to determine if you have a case. 414 453 0800

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