Byrne (Plaintiff) was walking under the window of Boadle’s (Defendant’s) warehouse when a barrel of flour fell out of the window and hit him.
In some egregious accidents, the occurrence of the accident itself is prima facie evidence of negligence, also known as res ipsa loquitur.
Byrne (Plaintiff) was walking outside and passed by Boadle’s (Defendant’s) warehouse. At that exact moment, a barrel of flour fell out of the warehouse window where there was machinery to lower barrels and hit Plaintiff. Though people had seen the accident happen, there was no evidence of how it occurred.
Was the occurrence of the flour barrel falling enough to show negligence?
Yes, the Court held that the barrel of flour falling was enough, in itself, to prove negligence.