Evidence of subsequent remedial measures is permitted to be obtained
through pre-trial discovery (depositions, interrogatories, request for
production of documents, etc.)
against subsequent admissible
measures [Evidence Code Section
1151) is one of admissibility, not discoverability [Bank of
the Orient v.
Superior Court (1977)
67 Cal.App.3d 588, 599.
2. Evidence of repairs after an incident is admissible in court for OTHER PURPOSES (that is, OTHER THAN TO SHOW NEGLIGENCE OR CULPABLE CONDUCT) [See California Evidence Code § 355; Wilson v. Gilbert (1972) 25 Cal.App.3d 607, 615; Alpert v. Villa Romano Homeowners Association (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 1320] as, for example:
(A) IMPEACHMENT: To impeach a witness who denies that the location of the accident was in a dangerous condition when the accident occurred [Inyo Chemical Co. v. City of Los Angeles (1936) 5 Cal.2d 525, 543-544; Hatfield v. Levy Brothers (1941) 18 Cal.2d 798, 809-810; Daggett v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Co. (1957) 48 Cal.2d 655, 661; Pierce v. J.C. Penney Co. (1959) 167 Cal.App.2d 3 at 7; Sanchez v. Bagues & Sons Mortuaries (1969) 271 Cal.App.2d 188, 191-192];
(B) FEASIBILITY TO ELIMINATE DANGER: To show the practical feasibility (ease and lack of expense) of eliminating the cause of the accident [Baldwin Contracting Co. v. Winston Steel Works (1965) 236 Cal.App2d 565; Love v. Wolf (1967) 249 Cal.App.2d 822, 831];
(C) TO SHOW CONTROL OF PREMISES: To show that the defendant was
in control of the injury-causing condition [Morehouse v.
Taubman (1970) 5 Cal.App.3d 548, 555; Alpert v. Villa
Romano Homeowners Association (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 1320,1340; "Evidence
of repairs, improvements, safety
precautions, or like remedial or preventive measures taken
after an injury may be admitted
for the purpose of establishing that at the time of the
defendant owned or controlled the place, thing, or activity which
the injury, at least where ownership or control is controverted, and
other appropriate limitations." (Alcaraz
v. Vece (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1149, 1168];
(D) TO SHOW DUTY: To show the duty to take safety precautions [Morehouse v. Taubman (1970) 5 Cal.App.3d 548, 555];
REPAIRS BY THIRD PARTY: Subsequent remedial
changes taken by an
entity other than defendant to correct a dangerous condition
is admissible [Magnante
Note: Where evidence is admissible for one purpose but not for another, the court, upon request, must restrict the evidence to its proper purposes and instruct the jury to disregard it for any other purpose instead of excluding the evidence altogether. [California Evidence Code § 355; Alpert v. Villa Romano Homeowners Association (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 1320, 1341, fn. 20]. If the defendant does not request a limiting instruction, the court does not have a sua sponte duty to give a limiting instruction. [Daggett v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Co. (1957) 48 Cal.2d 655, 655-6].
If you've been the victim of a premises liability incident, contact attorney Matthew B. Tozer for a free consultation.Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is informational, only. The subject matter and applicable law is evolving and/or constant state of change. This advice is based on California law. No legal advice is given and no attorney/client or other relationship is established or intended. The information provided is from general sources, and I cannot represent, guarantee or warrant that the information contained in this website is accurate, current, or is appropriate for the usage of any reader. It is recommend that readers of this information consult with their own counsel prior to relying on any information on this website.