Home Table of Contents

AMI 610 Res Ipsa Loquitur in Addition to Specified Acts of Negligence

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 610
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
December 2023 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 6. Specific Factors Affecting Negligence and Defenses
AMI 610 Res Ipsa Loquitur in Addition to Specified Acts of Negligence
In addition to the rules of law that I have just stated with respect to [(ordinary care)(and)(negligence)(and)(the rules of the road)(and)( )], there are situations in which a jury may, but is not required to, draw an inference of negligence from the manner in which the [alleged injury][death][or][(alleged) property damage] occurred. (Plaintiff) contends that this case involves such a situation and has the burden of proving each of [two][three] essential propositions:
First: That the [alleged injury][death][or][(alleged) property damage] was attributable to (name of instrumentality), which [was under the exclusive control of (defendant).] [had been under the exclusive control of (defendant) without any opportunity for the (contents)(character) of the (instrumentality) to have been changed after leaving the possession of (defendant).]
Second: That in the normal course of events, no [injury][death][or][property damage] would have occurred if (defendant) had used [ordinary care][the highest degree of care] while the (instrumentality) was under its exclusive control.
[And third: That (defendant) in its control of the (instrumentality) owed a duty to (plaintiff) to use (ordinary care)(the highest degree of care).]
If you find that each of these [two][three] propositions has been proved, then you are permitted, but not required, to infer that (defendant) was negligent.
This instruction, rather than AMI 609, should be used when specific acts of negligence are submitted with res ipsa loquitur.
Use the third paragraph only if there is a question of fact whether the defendant owed a duty of ordinary care (e.g., was the plaintiff an invitee or a trespasser).
Use the last bracketed clause in the first proposition if the instrumentality was not under the defendant's control at the time of the injury, but there is no rational ground for imputing negligence to others with respect to the instrumentality after it left the defendant's control.
Specific acts of negligence may be submitted with res ipsa loquitur. Moon Distributors, Inc. v. White, 245 Ark. 627, 434 S.W.2d 56 (1968).
If the evidence clearly shows the precise cause of the mishap, then there is no occasion for the application of the doctrine. Lambert v. Markley, 255 Ark. 851, 503 S.W.2d 162 (1973).
Under appropriate circumstances, res ipsa loquitur is applicable in medical malpractice cases. Myers v. Cooper Clinic, P.A., 2011 Ark. App. 435, at 10 (doctrine inapplicable where defendant presented evidence to the contrary); Schmidt v. Gibbs, 305 Ark. 383, 807 S.W.2d 928 (1991) (same).
When there is no substantial evidence of negligence on the plaintiff's part and the issue of comparative fault should not be presented to the jury, a res ipsa loquitur instruction may be appropriate under the circumstances of the case. Marx v. Huron Little Rock, 88 Ark. App. 284, 198 S.W.3d 127 (2004).
For a discussion of other instances when res ipsa loquitur is not applicable, see National Bank of Commerce v. Quirk, 323 Ark. 769, 918 S.W.2d 138 (1996), mandate amended, 325 Ark. 31, 922 S.W.2d 717 (1996); Taylor v. Riddell, 320 Ark. 394, 896 S.W.2d 891 (1995).
End of Document