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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Fireman's Fund American Insurance Cos. v. Knobbe

Should res ipsa loquitur be applied to a group of defendants when plaintiff has submitted no direct evidence that they had control over the dangerous instrumentality or were involved in the harm? Defendants were four guests who were smoking in a hotel room. After they had departed, a fire broke out in their room. The cause of the fire was determined to be a cigarette. However, plaintiff insurance company provided no evidence indicating which of the four guests had control of the cigarette which started the fire.