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res ipsa loquitur

Latin: "the thing speaks for itself." This is a legal doctrine used to assess liability (often against professionals) when there is no evidence as to how an injury took place. For instance, if a sponge is inadvertently left in a patient's stomach, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is typically invoked to establish liability because such an event is presumed not to occur in the absence of negligence.

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