I think none, and consequently that the action is maintainable. Burnie Port Authority v General Jones Pty Ltd [] it has been subsumed into negligence — does this mean that there is no point keeping it? Finally, Lord Bingham was concerned that Parliament might have passed legislation on the assumption that Rylands v Fletcher liability would continue, though he had no way of knowing whether this was so. However, the subsequent triumph of the fault principle meant that a rationale was required for this outpost of strict liability, and the justification provided was that the defendant had been engaged in a peculiarly dangerous activity. Does the rule espoused by Rylands v Fletcher have any use in the 21st century? See also Restatement, Third, Torts, n.

Again, an answer to this question would require an understanding of the developments and adaptations made to the rule in the later cases, and a consideration, following from this, of the usefulness of the rule in the modern day see guide answer to Q2. 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. 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. Linden eds , Torts Tomorrow: However, in the next section it will be argued that, far from making the common law more coherent, this realignment is both undesirable and historically unsound. See also Perry v Kendricks Transport Co.

In Shiffman v Order of St John,82 for example, the plaintiff recovered damages under the Rylands v Fletcher rule after he was hurt by a falling flag pole in Hyde Park, and two years later, in Hale nkisance Jenning Bros,83 the Court of Appeal awarded the plaintiff damages under the rule after she was struck by a chair that became detached from a fairground chair-o-plane.

A Tribute to John Flemingat pp. The first was that the language Fletchsr J.

private nuisance and rylands v fletcher essay

An isolated act which is over and done with, once and for all, may give rise to an action in negligence or an vletcher under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher, but not an action for nuisance. While it is certainly true that attempts have been made to infuse the doctrine of non-natural use with fault-based reasoning, the flecther that reasonableness in negligence and non-natural user are essentially similar concepts does not hold water.


Of course, this analysis itself leads us to the conclusion that in practical terms the gap between the Rylands rule and fault-based liability was never that great.

Chapter 19: Answers to end-of-chapter questions

On the practical significance of the burden of proof point, see Transco, n. As his Lordship pointed out, this conclusion was consistent with the language used in the case itself, and it is also noteworthy that academic commentators had previously made the case for a foreseeability requirement without reference to the nuisance analogy.

In fact, Newark maintained, the principle involved was a very simple one: Rather … it is a [] rule which requires those who pursue particular activities to internalise the costs of escapes. Sugarman edsTorts Stories at p. The second difficulty is that it makes no sense to characterise a given activity or thing as imposing a non-reciprocal risk in the abstract, for it all depends on the circumstances.

This should, however, come as no surprise, for, as Ibbetson has demonstrated, it is a mistake to exaggerate the contrast between the medieval regime of strict liability subject to a range of exculpatory defences and a regime of fault liability. J, and at per Windeyer J. By way of contrast to the offshoot theory, the distinctiveness of the rule in Rylands v Fletcher is asserted. Frederick Pollock, The Law of Torts 8th ed. Nor were the other justifications provided xnd rejecting this rylancs persuasive.

Since the plaintiffs suffered physical damage to their property as a result, recovery in negligence was straightforward. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. As was made clear in Hunter v Canary 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.

The most recent attempt at retrospective rationalisation came in Cambridge Water, where Lord Goff said that the rule was best regarded as an offshoot of the tort of private nuisance, an extension of that cause of action to isolated escapes. See also the thorough analysis of the American principle by Scott L. Indeed, the House of Lords has already taken a step towards the latter conclusion by holding that ordinary use of residential premises is never actionable in nuisance, though that decision probably owed more to policy considerations than it did to the influence of Rylands v Fletcher reasoning.


See also Rickards v Lothian [] A.

Could Rylands in its traditional form help? According to the Restatement, Second, Torts at s. It is argued, however, that the offshoot theory should be rejected, since 1 analysis of the Rylands v Fletcher case provides little support for the theory; 2 there are well- established distinctions between the rule in Rylands v Fletcher and private nuisance; 3 merger with the rule will be bad for nuisance; and 4 the version of the strict liability rule to which the offshoot theory has given rise is unappealing.

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. 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. Jones, Textbook on Torts 8th ed.

And, finally, the language Bramwell B. His Lordship also pointed out that in both French and German law there is an element of strict liability protection in disputes between landowners — though not in Scotland, which has never adopted the Rylands principle.

private nuisance and rylands v fletcher essay

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. By Francis Ibekwe Allagoa.

(PDF) The Distinctiveness of Rylands v Fletcher | Donal Nolan –

However, most such authorities fall within the Leakey v National Trust category — where liability is contingent on proof of carelessness — and these are best regarded as instances of negligence liability dressed up in nuisance clothing. It is much nearer the truth to say that an accident of definition, or lack of definition, of nuisance, may bring the same set of facts within either kind of liability, but that they differ notably in details, and that it is only esay none of these differences of detail is in question that it is immaterial whether the action is for nuisance or is on the rule in Rylands v Fletcher.

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