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Cyr v. J. I. Case Co.

652 A.2d 685 (1994)

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Cyr v. J. I. Case Co.

New Hampshire Supreme Court

652 A.2d 685 (1994)

Facts

J. I. Case Company (Case) (defendant) manufactured bulldozers with optional backup-motion alarms. Case sold a bulldozer that did not have a backup-motion alarm to Harold D. Smith & Sons, Inc. (Smith) (defendant), and Smith sold it to a construction company. Mark Cyr (plaintiff) worked for the construction company, and his leg was crushed when the bulldozer backed into him. Cyr brought negligence and strict-liability claims against Case and Smith, arguing that the bulldozer should have had a backup-motion alarm. After Cyr’s accident, Case made backup-motion alarms standard equipment for that type of bulldozer, and the construction company installed a backup-motion alarm on the bulldozer that had hit Cyr. Cyr wanted to introduce evidence showing that Case and the construction company had added backup-motion alarms after the accident. The trial court determined that these actions were subsequent remedial measures and excluded the evidence under Rule of Evidence 407. The jury found that Case and Smith were not liable for Cyr’s injuries. Cyr appealed, arguing that evidence of the newly added backup-motion alarms should have been admitted to help him prove his strict-liability claim.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, J.)

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