When measures are taken that would have made an earlier injury or harm less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove:
(b) culpable conduct;
(c) a defect in a product or its design; or
(d) a need for a warning or instruction.
The court may admit this evidence for another purpose, such as impeachment or, if disputed, proving ownership, control, or the feasibility of precautionary measures.
Rule 407 was amended, effective March 1, 2000, to follow the 1997 federal amendment. The amendment clarifies that evidence of measures taken by a defendant prior to an event causing 'injury or harm' do not fall within the exclusionary scope of Rule 407 even if they occurred after the manufacture or design of a product. The amendment also extends the exclusionary principle of the rule to product liability actions.
Rule 407 was amended, effective March 1, 2014, in response to the December 1, 2011, revision of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 26-27, 2012, pages 15-16; September 24-25, 1998, pages 2-3; April 30-May 1, 1998, pages 14-15; April 8, 1976, pages 23, 25; October 1, 1975, page 3. Fed.R.Ev. 407; Rule 407, SBAND proposal.