Rylands v Fletcher

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  • Created by: erw16
  • Created on: 28-11-18 23:24

Rylands v Fletcher is a strict liability tort which means that the defendant will be liable even if he or she is not negligent or at fault. Blackburn J. defined the rule as 'a person who, for his own purposes, brings onto land and keeps there anything likely to do mischeif if it escapes, must do so at his peril, and, if he does not do so, he is prima facie answerable for all damage which is the natural consequence of its escape.' Lord Cairns added that the use of the land had to be non-natural.

In Rylands v Fletcher it is a 'principle applicable between occupiers in respect of their land.' The claimant must therefore have some interest in the land that is affected and the land must belong to the claimant, as set out in Weller & Co v Foot and Mouth Disease Research Institute. 

The defendant must be the occupier who is

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