res ipsa loquitur


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res ipsa loquitur

From Latin, literally "the thing speaks for itself," a doctrine in tort law by which the nature of an accident or injury can be used to infer negligence by a defendant, even in the absence of direct evidence. The patient's malpractice claim against the surgeon was upheld on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, seeing as there was no way for a sponge to get inside of the patient's chest cavity otherwise. Though no one witnessed the wooden beams falling from the building and landing on the plaintiff, the building company was held liable under res ipsa loquitur.
See also: RES
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