Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin phrase, which means “the thing speaks for itself.” In order to prevail in a personal injury case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s negligent or wrongful actions cause the plaintiff’s injury. Ideally, the plaintiff would have access to direct evidence such as eyewitness testimony, but this is not always the case. In some instances, the only evidence that the plaintiff has is circumstantial evidence. In New York, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur means that circumstantial evidence may be sufficient to prove liability if the injury was would not normally occur absent negligence. In Morejon v. Rais Construction Company, the plaintiff sought a summary judgement motion based on res ipsa loquitur
Fabio Pardo was working for Rais Construction on December 26, 1998, when while delivering materials to a private residence that was undergoing renovation, a roll of roofing material fell from a roof at a construction site and hit Pardo in the head. Eventually, Pardo died. The plaintiff estate of Fabio Pardo filed a lawsuit against defendant Rais Construction Company alleging that Pardo was fatally injured at a construction job while working for Rais Construction because of Rais Construction’s negligence.