RYLANDS V FLETCHER CASE
i. FACTS ii. DIAGRAMATICAL REPRESENTATION iii. JUDGEMENT iv. EFFECTS OF THE CASE
v. EFFECTS OF THE CASE IN INDIA vi. CONCLUSION vii. ESSENTIALS
• A person may be liable for some harm even though he is not negligent in causing the same or does not intentionally cause it or is careful or has taken steps to prevent the same.
• e.g., The defendant is liable to the neighbor for emission of harmful gases with offensive smell from his big ore melting furnace, or constructing a dam which diverted water from its natural channel on the land of the neighbor. Such liability is called Strict Liability.
RYLANDS v FLETCHER
Both Rylands and Fletcher were neighbours.
Rylands owned a mill for whose energy requirement he constructed a water reservoir on his land.
He gave this work to independent contractor and engineers.
Due to the negligence of the private contractor, the shafts that led the way to Fletcher’s mine were broken which led the water into the mine, causing heavy loss to him.
Fletcher sued Rylands.
• The court of Exchequer dismissed the claim stating that there is no valid case.
• The court of Exchequer chamber again overruled the judgment in the favor of the Plaintiff and the judgment was announced by Blackburn J. on the behalf of all the six judges and gave the rule of strict liability.“The person who, for his own purpose , brings on his land and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it in this peril ; and if he does not do so is prima facie answerable for all damage which is the natural consequence of it’s escape”.
• Rylands was not satisfied with this decision and appealed in the House of lords and the appeal was again overruled by Lord Crain's, he agreed to the decision of Blackburn J, and added a