Texas Supreme Court Allows Res Ipsa Loquitur Instruction to be Given to Jury in Action Involving Single-Car Automobile Accident: Porterfield v. Brinegar, 719 S.W.2d 558 (Tex. 1986)
Young, Kevin M.
Porterfield v. Brinegar, decided by the Texas Supreme Court, held that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur would be applied to Texas cases involving single-car accidents. The application of the doctrine to these types of cases was not surprising; many jurisdictions have recognized the need for applying res ipsa in this area. The real significance of the case lies in the fact that the supreme court chose to follow the few states that apply res ipsa to situations in which neither party has evidence concerning the actual wreck. By its holding, the supreme court has provided an undeserved procedural advantage to plaintiffs while mandating that innocent defendants rebut a potentially insurmountable presumption.