Skip to content

Archive for

Missouri’s Spoliation Doctrine and the Rule on Subsequent Remedial Measures

Despite its difficulty in application, the evidentiary spoliation doctrine—not to be confused with the independent tort of spoliation—is a fairly common sense doctrine at heart.  Boiled down to its most basic terms the spoliation doctrine prevents parties from destroying relevant evidence and using its absence to support their position.  The spoliation doctrine prevents parties from benefitting from their intentional destruction of evidence by allowing the other parties to make an adverse inference to the jury that the destroyed evidence would have been favorable to their position.

On the other hand, the rule on subsequent remedial measures seeks to encourage a party to repair a dangerous or injury-causing condition after an accident has occurred.  The public policy behind this rule encourages parties to make repairs where necessary to prevent the same injury from recurring. This rule provides that any action taken after an injury-causing event that, if undertaken before the event, would have reduced the likelihood of injury, is inadmissible to establish the manufacturer’s negligence. Read more