For similar analyses, see V. The other three — act of God, act of a stranger, and default of the claimant — all go to causation: Click here to sign up. When the case came before the courts, the judiciary was divided between advocates of the fault principle and proponents of an older model of strict liability. The Distinctiveness of Rylands v Fletcher. Jones, Textbook on Torts 8th ed. As regards locus standi, the case law before Cambridge Water strongly suggested that the right to bring a claim was not dependent on possession of an interest in the property on to which the thing escaped.
By Willem van Boom. But to extrapolate from this citation as Newark did that Blackburn J. Although Murphy also emphasises the distinctiveness of Rylands v Fletcher, many of his arguments are different from the ones on which I rely. Over the years, solvent that spilled on to the tannery floor seeped into the ground and contaminated the underground water that supplied a borehole used by the plaintiff water company. Thirdly, there is little danger that subsuming Rylands v Fletcher under negligence will distort the latter tort or reduce its coherence. There are two notions which have threatened to reduce the conceptual space between negligence and non-natural use, the first of which is that a use of benefit to the community is for that reason a natural one.
Lord Goff’s addition of a foreseeability requirement in Cambridge Water and the confirmation of this as being the same test as is used in private nuisance in Transco also further limits the scope and usefulness of Rylands actions. The straightforward answer to this question centres upon the fact that post- Transco there is really only a very limited scope of situations to which a Rylands claim might apply.
And, if not, what should become of the rule in Rylands v Fletcher? Contractors Ltd  Q. Find a snd Find your local rep. Furthermore, in Transco their Lordships emphasised that the rule should henceforth be interpreted very narrowly. Other writers who have emphasised the differences between the two causes of action are R. But it is no privwte of the rule in Rylands v Fletcher to forbid particular activities. For a similar conclusion, see Transco, n. It is frequently alleged that this marked the end of strict liability in this context, but this is to ignore the fact that it is only the consequences of the escape, not the escape itself, that must be foreseeable, and to make the mistake of confusing foreseeability with fault.
Mullany and Allen M. As was made clear in Hunter v Rpivate Wharf Ltd,72 if a wrong is characterised as one against land, then it follows that claims cannot be brought for personal injury, and that only those with an interest in the land affected have standing. Rabin and Stephen D.
The principal purpose of this article is to challenge the new orthodoxy. Once again, Rylands v Fletcher appeared anomalous. However, in the next section it will be argued that, far from making nuisanec common law more coherent, this realignment is both undesirable and historically unsound.
I think none, and consequently that the action is maintainable.
According to the Restatement, Second, Torts at s. Heuston, Salmond on the Law of Torts 11th ed.
Chapter 19: Answers to end-of-chapter questions
Log In Sign Up. The explanation probably lies in anachronistic reasoning. As a result, the plaintiffs were obliged to develop a new source of supply, and they sought recovery of the added expense from the defendants in negligence, private nuisance and under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher.
James, Law of Tortsat p. Those who make this argument appear to be looking at a mid- nineteenth century case through contemporary spectacles, and ascribing to the judges who sat in it motivations that were almost certainly far rrylands their minds.
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Williams concludes that this supposed principle was little better than a myth, and argues that cases involving escaping cattle ought logically to be classed under nuisance, but none the less the previously widespread acceptance of the vicarious trespass analysis suggests that Blackburn J. And yet the cause of action has proved surprisingly resilient. When a similar case reached the Court of Appeal three years later, the same judge made no mention of nuisance: Rather strangely, however, Lawton J.
The decision in Rylands was an important victory for the supporters of strict liability, but while they won this particular battle their opponents eventually won the war. Since the plaintiffs suffered physical damage fleycher their property as a result, recovery in negligence was straightforward. On the practical tylands of the burden of proof point, see Transco, n. The argument we are dealing with here is the  contention that the gap between Rylands v Fletcher liability and the tort of negligence has narrowed so much that the two causes of action are now virtually indistinguishable.
There are two notions which have threatened to reduce the conceptual space between negligence and non-natural use, the first of which is that a use of benefit to rylanxs community is for that reason a natural one. As Bagshaw has noted, this points to a fundamental distinction between the two causes of action: See also Miles, n.
An obvious objection is that greater protection is thereby given to proprietary interests than to personal interests, and that this would appear to be indefensible. Over the years, solvent that spilled on to the tannery floor seeped into the ground and contaminated the underground water that supplied a borehole used by the plaintiff water company.