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Clausen v. Storage Tank Development Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
21 F.3d 1181 (1st Cir. 1994)


In 1989, Eric Clausen (plaintiff) worked for the Goudreau Construction Corporation (Goudreau). While on the job, Clausen slipped on a ramp at a fuel terminal facility, injuring himself. The facility was owned by Storage Tank Development Corporation (Storage Tank) (defendant) and occupied by Sea-3, Inc. (Sea-3) (defendant). Clausen brought a negligence suit against the defendants. The defendants filed third-party suits against Goudreau and disputed which entity had controlled the ramp at the time of Clausen’s injury. Clausen sought to introduce evidence that Storage Tank, at Sea-3’s request, replaced the ramp with stairs in 1992. The United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire admitted the evidence as evidence of Storage Tank’s control over the ramp. The trial judge instructed the jury not to use the ramp replacement as evidence of any negligent conduct on the part of the defendants. The jury found in favor of Clausen. Storage Tank appealed, arguing that the admission of the evidence of its replacement of the ramp was in error.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Campbell, J.)

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