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Res Ipsa Loquitur

Author: Webmaster / August 12, 2016 / Categories:

Meaning “the thing speaks for itself”. A rule of evidence whereby negligence of the alleged wrongdoer may be inferred from the mere fact that the accident happened, provided: (1) the occurrence is the kind of thing that does not ordinarily happen without negligence; (2) the occurrence must have been caused by an agency or instrumentality within the exclusive control of the defendant; (3) the occurrence was not due to contribution or voluntary action by the plaintiff. The rule may not apply when direct evidence of negligence exists. The procedural effect of successfully invoking the doctrine is to shift the burden of going forward with the evidence, which normally attaches to the plaintiff, to the defendant, who is thereby charged with introducing evidence to refute the presumption of negligence which has been created.

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