The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur has been a source of confusion to the courts since its inception in the famous case of Byrne v. Boadle, where a barrel of flour rolled out of a warehouse window and injured a passing pedestrian. From its birth to the present, the doctrine has been riddled with various nuances concerning both its application and effect. Despite a lack of uniformity among the courts with respect to its use, there has been general agreement that proper analysis of the doctrine presents two considerations. First, whether the particular facts and circumstances necessary to invoke res ipsa are present. Second, assuming the doctrine applies, what are its procedural consequences? While most courts agree on the factual situations giving rise to the doctrine, there has been considerable disagreement as to the doctrine's procedural effects. Nuclear Corp. of America v. Lang raises an issue regarding the procedural effects of res ipsa loquitur in diversity actions. To what extent do the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure supplant the various procedural aspects given the doctrine by the forum state? This note examines the impact of Lang on the effect of pleading specific acts of negligence in diversity actions.
Stephen C. Johnson,
Res Ipsa Loquitur: Pleading Acts of Negligence: Nuclear Corp. of America v. Lang, 338 F. Supp. 914 (D. Neb. 1972),
52 Neb. L. Rev. 404
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