Friday, August 03, 2007

Res ipsa loquitur

There's time for a little law lesson before bed, boys and girls.

Aw please Spotty, it late! We're tired.

Nevertheless, grasshopper, this is important. The term res ipsa loquiter is a Latin phrase that has special meaning in the law; it means it speaks for itself. It is a legal doctrine in tort law that means that some things are so manifestly and obviously the result of negligent acts of commission or omission that a court or jury need not concern itself about how the specific negligence occurred. The consequences literally speak for themselves. Kind of like when a major interstate bridge lies in the Mississippi River. The fact that it is there bespeaks a terrible neglect.

This afternoon, Spot posted about the bridge collapse and Michael Brodkorb's efforts to divert the blame by denouncing the critics of the Pepsodent administration's malign neglect. Dave would have none of it, saying in a comment, produce a professional engineer to back you up, or shut up. Very Brodkorbian.

But commenter Andy responded to Dave, expressing the essence of res ipsa, as it is known to its friends:

No degree is necessary. Bridges don't just fall.
That is all. End of story.

Andy is correct, and no amount of squirming or screaming with change the facts. Governor Pepsodent and his happy band of bandits will have to wear this one for the rest of their lives.

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