Sweeney v. Erving
228 U.S. 233 (1913)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Sweeney v. Erving, 228 U.S. 233 (1913)

Sweeney v. Erving

No. 60

Argued February 28, 1913

Decided April 7, 1913

228 U.S. 233

Syllabus

Where the rule of res ipsa loquitur applies, it does not have the effect of shifting the burden of proof.

Res ipsa loquitur means that the facts of the occurrence warrant an inference of negligence, not that they compel such an inference, nor does res ipsa loquitur convert the defendant's general issue into an affirmative defense.

Even if the rule of res ipsa loquitur applies, when all the evidence is in, it is for the jury to determine whether the preponderance is with the plaintiff.

Where the terms of a request to charge are self-contradictory and confusing, that reason is, in itself, a sufficient ground for the trial court to reject it.

A medical specialist, called on to operate upon the patient of another physician who has assumed the responsibility of advising the operation, does not, as a matter of law on the facts disclosed in this case, undertake the responsibility of making a special study of the patient's condition or of giving advice as to possibility of injury resulting therefrom.

35 App.D.C. 57 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the liability of a medical specialist for injuries caused by burns resulting from an X-ray operation performed by him on the patient of another physician, are stated in the opinion.

Page 228 U. S. 234

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