legal word of the day: RES IPSA LOQUITUR
(the thing speaks for itself = the very nature of an accident or injury points to the defendant’s negligence)
A doctrine in the law of torts, according to which the defendant may be presumed (thought) to be responsible for the plaintiff’s injury if
§ the injury is of the type that does not usually occur (take place) without negligence (careless behaviour)
§ it is more probable that the defendant, and not third parties, is responsible for the injury
§ the plaintiff’s behavior did not cause the injury
§ the defendant is unable to explain the injury by claiming that his actions met the standard of care.
NEGLIGENCE – zaniedbanie (failure to be as careful as the law demands)
a TORT – delikt (a civil wrong that unfairly causes someone else to suffer loss or harm)
to PRESUME – domniemywać (to suppose to be true without proof)
the STANDARD OF CARE – oczekiwany stopień staranności (degree of care an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent person would exercise in given circumstances)
(1) Res ipsa loquitur often arises in the "scalpel left behind" variety of case. For example, a person goes to a doctor with abdominal pains after having his appendix removed. X-rays show the patient has a metal object the size and shape of a scalpel in his abdomen. It requires no further explanation to show the surgeon who removed the appendix was negligent, as there is no legitimate reason for a doctor to leave a scalpel in a body at the end of an appendectomy.
NEGLIGENT – niedbały, niedochowujący należytej staranności (about someone who failed to put as much care as the law demands)
(2) In one case, a person was injured when an elevator in which she was riding fell very rapidly. She brought a negligence action against both the owner of the building and the company that manufactured the elevator and had the maintenance service contract for the building. The plaintiff relied completely on res ipsa. The jury found for the plaintiff since a falling elevator is not the type of accident that usually occurs without negligence.
to BRING AN ACTION AGAINST – wytoczyć powództwo (to file a suit)
to FIND FOR THE PLAINTIFF – orzec na korzyść powoda (to make a decision in favour of the plaintiff)