The rule in Rylands v Fletcher

Facts : D hired independent contractors to build a reservoir on their land. The
contractors carelessly omitted to block up some unused shafts which were linked
with P's coal mine. When the reservoir was filled, water seeped in through the
pipes and flooded P's mine.
There was no apparent tort at that time to cover the damages however it was ruled
as a strict liability case and the following rule was set out :
The person who for his own purposes [and in the course of a non natural
user of his land] brings onto his land and collects and keeps it there anything likely
to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it at his peril and if he does not do so, is
prima facie answerable for all the damage which is in the natural consequence of
its escape.


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