Rylands v Fletcher

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  • Created by: Melanie
  • Created on: 06-05-16 10:23


  • D brings something onto his land which will cause mischief.
  • The material escapes from the land.
  • Must be a non-natural use of the land.
  • Must be reasonably foreseeable.
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Non-natural uses and Ordinary uses

Non-natural uses

Any material which is brought onto the land.

Ordinary uses.

Transco - Leak of water. Supplying water was an ordinary use.

Cambridge water - Non-natural use but had no idea that solvent could seep through concrete. Not reasonably foreseeable.

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Who can sue?

Must have an interest in the land.

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Defences and remedies


  • Consent
  • Contributory negligence
  • Statutory authority.
  • Necessity.
  • Act of God - e.g. extreme weather.
  • Act of a stranger - Rickards v Lothian - flooded the sinks.
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