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?
Notes: 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.
Should courts be willing to apply res ipsa loquitur principles to defendants who acquiesce to conditions which made the wrongful injury likely?
Notes: Defendant hosted an incredibly rowdy convention, in which gunfire in the lobby, destruction of hotel fixtures, and defenestrations were common. However, defendant did not make any attempts to reign in the behavior of its guests: no complaints were made to the organization running the convention, nor to the police. Plaintiff was walking on the sidewalk near defendant’s hotel while the convention was ongoing. After looking upward to ascertain the source of an explosion, plaintiff was struck in the left eye by a mud-like substance. She lost sight in her left eye due to the impact. The only building from which the material could have fallen was defendant’s hotel.
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