s were doing what they were doing at their own peril and would be liable RULE A

S were doing what they were doing at their own peril

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s were doing what they were doing at their own peril and would be liable RULE: A person who, for his own purposes, brings on his land and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it in at his peril; and if he does not do so is answerable for all the damages which is the natural consequence of its escape CASE: Klein v. Pyrodyne Corp. (Wash. 1991) Π s were injured by a stray shell at a public fireworks exhibition HELD: Pyrotechnicians are strictly liable for damages caused by fireworks displays Modern doctrine of strict liability for abnormally dangerous activities has come to stand for the rule that the will be liable when he damages another by a thing or activity unduly dangerous and inappropriate to the place where 50
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it is maintained, in the light of the character of that place and its surroundings § 520 of the Restatements lists six factors that are to be considered in determining whether an activity is abnormally dangerous 1. Existence of a high degree of risk of some harm to the person, land or chattels of others 2. Likelihood that the harm that results from it will be great 3. Inability to eliminate the risk by the exercise of reasonable care 4. Extent to which the activity is not a matter of common usage 5. Inappropriateness of the activity to the place where it is carried on 6. Extent to which its value to the community is outweighed by its dangerous attributes Essential question: Whether the risk created is so unusual, either because of its magnitude or bc of the circumstances surrounding it, as to justify the imposition of strict liability for the harm that results from it, even though it is carried on with all reasonable care Dangerousness evidenced by the elaborate scheme of administrative regulations with which pyrotechnicians must comply High risks can be reduced, but not eliminated Not a matter of common usage Fairness weighs in favor of requiring pyrotechnicians to pay for injuries Strict liability also rests on the problem of proof disasters caused frequently destroy all evidence of what in fact occurred Intervening acts of third persons serve to relieve the from strict liability for abnormally dangerous activities only if those acts were unforeseeable in relation to the extraordinary risk created by the activity o Encourages those who conduct abnormally dangerous activities to anticipate and take precautions against the possible negligence of third parties CONCURRENCE: All instrumentalities inevitably involve some degree of risk; real issue is whether the hazard can be reduced to acceptable limits Strict liability on owners of wild animals for injuries caused by those animals Turner v. Big Lake Oil Co. (Tex. 1937): The creation of reservoirs filled with salt water a “natural” use of land, given that in certain parts of TX one would naturally expect to find such reservoirs, since they are a necessary part of oil exploration Prof. Fletcher argued that either have reciprocal risks (persons are exposing each other to roughly similar risks of injury i.e. car driving) and non-reciprocal risks
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  • Fall '08
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  • Tort Law, duty, reasonable care

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