Rylands v. Fletcher


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Rylands v. Fletcher

A very famous case that should be known and understood by all real estate developers.It was the precursor of the doctrine that a property owner is strictly liable for all damages caused by abnormally dangerous things and activities on his or her land,without any need to show negligence, contractual responsibility, or any neglect or omission at all. In this 1865 English case, Rylands was building a pond to supply water for his mill.During excavation,his engineers discovered five abandoned and filled mine shafts in the bed of the pond site.They seemed unimportant.Upon completion of the pond, the shafts started filling in with water. Shortly afterward the water burst through the abandoned shafts and traveled underground until it flooded Fletcher's mines.Fletcher sued,but Rylands defended by saying he had done nothing wrong,that it was a freak accident,and, anyway,it was all the engineers'fault for not investigating further.The court held Rylands liable,stating that if one brings upon his land something that will cause injury if it escapes, then he is strictly liable for the consequences if it does escape.

References in periodicals archive ?
The three related intentional tort causes of action were trespass, Rylands v.
It found this not to be an actionable nuisance, and Inco was not liable under Rylands v.
47) Judge Holmes applied Rylands in a little-known case in 1902 involving an icy sidewalk: "When knowledge of the damage done or threatened to the public is established, the strict rule of Rylands v.
Prosser never pinpointed when courts shifted, but he added, "After a long period during which Rylands v.
In addition to claims in negligence and nuisance, plaintiffs will often allege liability against municipalities for flooding damage on the basis of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur and the rule in Rylands v.
Whereas the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is used to establish negligence, the rule in Rylands v.