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Kenny v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

581 F.2d 351 (1978)

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Kenny v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

581 F.2d 351 (1978)

Facts

Clare Kenny (plaintiff) was attacked and raped at a train station operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) (defendant). Kenny sued the SEPTA, arguing that it had failed to provide adequate protection at the station. Kenny argued that the platform’s lighting was deficient and that the one employee at the station had not paid sufficient attention to the conditions on the platform. At trial, a SEPTA employee testified that the station ensured adequate lighting by making daily checks and adjustments. As part of this process, the SEPTA had replaced four light bulbs on a nearby platform the night before the attack, replaced one light bulb near the tracks an hour after the attack, and installed three new light bulbs the next night. On cross-examination, the SEPTA employee also admitted that a new fluorescent fixture had been added to the platform four days after the attack. The SEPTA objected to the introduction of evidence about the new fixture, but the trial court ruled that the new-fixture evidence was admissible both to show that extra lighting was feasible and to impeach the SEPTA’s prior assertion that it was doing everything that it could to ensure sufficient lighting. The jury found that the SEPTA was liable to Kenny. The trial court overturned the jury verdict and entered judgment for the SEPTA. Both parties appealed. On appeal, the SEPTA argued that its installation of the new fixture was a subsequent remedial measure that should have been excluded.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Weis, J.)

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