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Evidence Keyed to Sklansky
Diehl v. Blaw-Knox
Citation:360 F.3d 426 (6th Cir. 2004)
The plaintiff was severely injured while working as a laborer on a road crew for IA Construction, Inc. (“IA”). On the day of the accident, the road crew was using a machine called a “road widener” to extend the shoulder of the road. The road widener was used to deposit and spread material to one side of the roadway. The plaintiff was working behind the road widener. Suddenly, the road widener came to a stop and began to move in reverse. The plaintiff who was working within a couple of feet of the road widener, was not aware that the machine was reversing toward him. One of the exposed wheels crushed the plaintiff’s leg. The plaintiff brought suit against the road widener’s manufacturer. During trial, the plaintiff sought to introduce testimony from a mechanic that would establish that after the plaintiff’s accident, the road widener had multiple modifications including: 1) installation of a rear bumper guard that enclosed the rear tires; 2) relocating the back-up alarm to the rear of the machine; and 3) placing warning signs on the rear of the machine. However, the mechanic was hired by the plaintiff’s employer, not the defendant. The district court excluded the evidence, holding that the modifications were subsequent remedial measures that were inadmissible under Fed. R. Evid. 407.
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