RYLANDS v FLETCHER (1).docx - RYLANDS v FLETCHER INTRODUCTION In Rylands v Fletcher(1868 LR 3 HL 330 the defendants employed independent contractors to

RYLANDS v FLETCHER (1).docx - RYLANDS v FLETCHER...

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RYLANDS v FLETCHER INTRODUCTION In Rylands v Fletcher (1868) LR 3 HL 330, the defendants employed independent contractors to construct a reservoir on their land. The contractors found disused mines when digging but failed to seal them properly. They filled the reservoir with water. As a result, water flooded through the mineshafts into the plaintiff’s mines on the adjoining property. The plaintiff secured a verdict at Liverpool Assizes. The Court of Exchequer Chamber held the defendant liable and the House of Lords affirmed their decision. REQUIREMENTS It was decided by Blackburn J, who delivered the judgment of the Court of Exchequer Chamber, and the House of Lords, that to succeed in this tort the claimant must show: That the defendant brought something onto his land; That the defendant made a “non-natural use” of his land (per Lord Cairns, LC); The thing was something likely to do mischief if it escaped; The thing did escape and cause damage.
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