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Krebs v. Corrigan

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Krebs filed suit and against Bronson and his principal, Corrigan, after Bronson destroyed four of Krebs’ sculptures.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A prima facie case of negligence is established under the doctrine of res ipsaloquitor if the cause of the accident is known, the instrumentality causing the accident is under the exclusive control of the defendant, and the instrumentality is not likely to do harm without the negligence of the person in control of the instrumentality.

    Facts.

    Bron’s car was parked in Krebs’ art studio when Krebs’ spotted Bronson and his car flying through the air. Bronson and the car fell on four of Krebs’ sculptures.Krebs filed suit and against Bronson and his principal, Corrigan, after Bronson destroyed four of Krebs’ sculptures. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion for a directed verdict.

    Issue.

    Whether a prima facie case of negligence is established under the doctrine of res ipsaloquitor if the cause of the accident is known, the instrumentality causing the accident is under the exclusive control of the defendant, and the instrumentality is not likely to do harm without the negligence of the person in control of the instrumentality?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. The cause of the accident was known, as Bronson fell on the sculptures; Bronson’s body was under the control of Bronson; and a person’s body is not likely to do harm without the control of the person. Kreb has presented enough evidence to support the doctrine of res ipsaloquitor.

    Discussion.

    A prima facie case of negligence is established under the doctrine of res ipsaloquitor if the cause of the accident is known, the instrumentality causing the accident is under the exclusive control of the defendant, and the instrumentality is not likely to do harm without the negligence of the person in control of the instrumentality.


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