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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Larson v. St. Francis Hotel

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.