Kaleb Avalos-Lanteros was born with what amounted to a fractured skull. The injury caused brain damage and was first recognized while Kaleb was in the neonatal intensive care unit at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Chicago.
The cause of Kaleb’s skull fracture was not acknowledged by anyone but was alleged to have happened when Kaleb was being cared for in the NICU. No one took responsibility, so Kaleb’s parents relied on the claim of res ipsa loquitur in suing lots of defendants, which included the hospital, EPC Healthcare Staffing and another group of companies affiliated with Sodexo Inc.
The lawsuit and its complaint included claims for what the lawyers called “specific negligence” in addition to the claim of res ipsa loquitur, which literally means, in Latin, the thing speaks for itself. In other words, the law allows this theory to be applied for a claim in which the event alleged could not have happened in the absence of negligence. That presumption is rebuttable and can be defeated, but would be a question of fact to be decided by a jury as the finder of facts.