Main Content

Main Content

Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Beulah Larson, Appellant, v. t. Francis Hotel et al., Respondents.

Headnote

Should courts still apply the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur when a defendant does not have exclusive control over the object which harms the plaintiff? Plaintiff was struck on the head and knocked unconscious by a heavy, overstuffed armchair. At the time of impact, plaintiff was walking on the sidewalk near the defendant’s hotel. No witnesses saw the chair until it was a few feet from plaintiff’s head, nor was there any evidence identifying the chair as belonging to the hotel.