Agriculture and Res Ipsa Loquitur

20 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2017 Last revised: 5 Feb 2018

Date Written: April 17, 2017


This Article is intended to contribute to the literature concerning the relationship between agricultural law and tort liability by examining cases involving the application of the res ipsa loquitur doctrine to cases involving agriculture.

Courts throughout the country vary on whether to apply res ipsa loquitur to cases involving agricultural interests. This Article finds that the following three general rules can be gleaned depending upon the fact pattern: 1. A majority of courts have held that the res ipsa loquitur doctrine does not apply in cases involving crop or barn fires. 2. A majority of courts hold that the res ipsa loquitur doctrine applies in cases involving pesticide drift, the application of pesticides by crop dusting and spraying companies, as well as application of pesticides from contaminated barrels of insecticide. 3. There is a split in authority on whether res ipsa loquitur applies in cases involving escaped livestock.

Suggested Citation

Marzen, Chad G., Agriculture and Res Ipsa Loquitur (April 17, 2017). Oklahoma Law Review, Volume 70, Issue 3, pgs. 679-698 (2018), Available at SSRN: or

Chad G. Marzen (Contact Author)

Florida State University ( email )

College of Business
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

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