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According to Florida law, res ipsa loquitur is a rule of evidence that permits, but does not compel, an inference of negligence under certain circumstances:

Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin phrase that translates “the thing speaks for itself.” Prosser and Keaton, Law of Torts § 39 (5th ed. 1984). It is a rule of evidence that permits, but does not compel, an inference of negligence under certain circumstances. “[T]he doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is merely a rule of evidence. Under it an inference may arise in aid of the proof.” Yarbrough v. Ball U-Drive System, Inc., 48 So.2d 82, 83 (Fla.1950). In Goodyear, a products liability case, we explained the doctrine as follows:


It provides an injured plaintiff with a common-sense inference of negligence where direct proof of negligence is wanting, provided certain elements consistent with negligent behavior are present. Essentially the injured plaintiff must establish that the instrumentality causing his or her injury was under the exclusive control of the defendant, and that the accident is one that would not, in the ordinary course of events, have occurred without negligence on the part of the one in control.

Goodyear, 358 So.2d at 1341–42, (footnotes omitted).
In finding res ipsa loquitur inapplicable, the Court in Goodyear relied on three factors: 1) there was sufficient direct evidence of negligence available to the extent that “the facts surrounding the incident were discoverable and provable”; 2) the occurrences of tire blowouts after the tires *532 had been driven 4,000 to 9,500 miles were not the type of accidents that “speak for themselves” unaided by plaintiffs’ circumstantial evidence; and 3) the tire companies did not have exclusive control at the times of the plaintiffs’ injuries.

See: Marrero v. Goldsmith, 486 So. 2d 530



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