Prima Facie Case
To prove res ipsa loquitor negligence, the plaintiff must prove 3 things:
- The incident was of a type that does not generally happen without negligence
- It was caused by an instrumentality solely in defendant’s control
- The plaintiff did not contribute to the cause
Limitations on Res Ipsa Loquitur
An which injury which happens without the fault of a plaintiff (i.e. certain types of slip-and-fall accidents) would necessarily fail the prima facie test, failing the third element in particular.
For an example of a court applying res ipsa loquitur, see Byrne v Boadle.