The Store Fixed The Problem That Caused My Fall. Does That Matter To My Lawsuit?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on September 10, 2010

in Buffalo Injury Questions and Answers

When property owners in the City of Buffalo are informed that there is a potentially dangerous condition on their property, they will usually take steps to correct it.  This is particularly true when the dangerous condition causes an injury. 

While it may seem that the act of repairing the problem could be used as evidence in court that the defendant was aware of the problem, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled long ago that this is not so.  In 1888, New York’s highest court ruled in the case of Franklin v. New York Elevator Company that subsequent remedial measures cannot be used to demonstrate a defendant’s knowledge of an unsafe condition prior to the accident.  As a result, they do not prove that the defendant had a duty to take reasonable steps to warn against or prevent injury, and they are not admissible as evidence.

Evidence of subsequent repairs is only admissible when there is a dispute regarding who controlled the property where the accident occurred.  If the defendant denies control over the area, evidence that the defendant arranged for subsequent repairs is admissible because it would tend to indicate that the defendant did, in fact, control the area.

If you have been injured on someone else’s property and have any questions, please feel free to call my office at 716-542-5444.  We would be happy to help you.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment