Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The Iowa Supreme Court recently addressed the subsequent remedial measures doctrine. Under this evidentiary rule (adopted in Iowa and other states), evidence of subsequent remedial measures cannot be used to prove negligence but can be used to prove strict liability. The court held "that evidence of subsequent remedial measures, which a party seeks to introduce in an action based on a design defect claim, a failure to warn claim, or a breach of warranty claim brought under either theory, is not categorically exempt from exclusion . . . because these claims are not strict liability claims. Instead, trial courts must analyze the reason a party seeks to admit such evidence. . . . "