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City of Bethel v. Peters

97 P.3d 822 (2004)

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City of Bethel v. Peters

Alaska Supreme Court

97 P.3d 822 (2004)

Facts

Catherine Peters (plaintiff) broke her leg when she fell in the shower area of a senior center owned by the City of Bethel (Bethel) (defendant). A Bethel employee investigated the fall and prepared an accident-investigation report. In the report, the employee recommended installing shower bars on the walls of the center’s shower and sauna areas to help elderly people support themselves. The report also had a section noting that the center had followed this recommendation and installed shower bars. Peters sued Bethel for negligence, claiming that shower bars should have been in place at the time she fell. At trial, evidence that Bethel had actually corrected the problem and installed shower bars was excluded under Rule of Evidence 407 as evidence of a subsequent remedial measure. However, the part of the accident-investigation report that recommended the installation of shower bars was admitted into evidence and shown to the jury. The jury found that Bethel was liable to Peters for damages. Bethel appealed, arguing that evidence of its corrective recommendation should have been excluded along with the evidence of its actual correction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fabe, J.)

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