When the contractors discovered a series of old coal shafts improperly filled with debris, they chose to continue work rather than properly blocking them up. Rickards v Lothian [1913] A C 263, 82 LJPC 42, 108 LT 225, PC. The absence of this finding is fatal to this part of the Plaintiff's case, and it is not necessary, therefore, to enquire into it further. The Judge had directed the jury that if the act was malicious, the Defendant would not be liable unless he instigated it, which was not even suggested. If a. reservoir was destroyed by an earthquake, or the Queen's enemies destroyed it in conducting some warlike operation, it would be contrary to all reason and justice to hold the owner of the reservoir liable for any damage that might be done by the escape of the water. The Appellants in this case are the personal representatives of Harry Rickards who was the Defendant in an action for damages brought by the Respondent against him in the Melbourne County Court, for damages occasioned to the stock in trade of the Plaintiff who was the tenant of the second floor of certain premises belonging to the Defendant by an overflow from a lavatory basin situated on an upper floor of the same premises. This is more fully expressed by Wright, J., in his judgment in Blake v. Woolf (L.R. Water escaped into nearby disused mineshafts, and in turn flooded the plaintiff’s mine. Material Facts Rickards sink was intentionally blocked by an unknown third party The sink overflowed and water escaped to the lower floors The water caused damage to the plaintiff's stock. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! The rule of Rylands v Fletcher requires a special use of the land. We are of opinion therefore that the Defendant was entitled to excuse herself by saying that the water escaped through the act of God." thus expressed himself: It is not every use to … It would be wholly unreasonable to hold un occupier responsible for the consequences of such acts which he is powerless to prevent, when the provision of the supply is not only a reasonable act on his part but probably a duty. Court case. 265, and L. R. 3, E. and I, Appeals 330) It was contended that it was the Defendant's duty to prevent an overflow from the lavatory basin, however caused, and that he was liable In damages for not having so clone, whether the overflow was due to any negligent act on his part or to the malicious act of a third person. Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our expert legal writers, as a learning aid to help law students with their studies. JISCBAILII_CASE_TORT Rickards v Lothian [1913] UKPC 1 (11 February 1913) Judgment of the Lords of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on the Appeal of Harry Rickards, since deceased (now represented by John Charles Leete and others) v. John Inglis Lothian, from the High Court of Australia (P. C. Appeal No. Registered office: Venture House, Cross Street, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG5 7PJ. So far as is necessary for the present case the law on the point is thus laid down by Blackburn, .J. 127 of 1(11); delivered the 11th February 1913. LORD MIACNAGHTEN. He could stop the plug of the basin, he could stop the overflow, and could very easily stop the escape from the lead floors. ... (Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks (1856)) based on the reasonable man and as such a question of law to be determined by the courts. It was for the damage thus caused to the Plaintiff's stock-in-trade that the action was brought. In giving judgment Kelly, C.B., says :- " The question is, �what ,vas the cause of this overflow? Citation. (2) It was contended that the Defendant was liable apart from negligence on the principles which are usually associated -with the well-known case of Fletcher v. Rylands In the argument on the first of those points, Lynch v. Nurdin (1 Q.B. Second, Rylands v Fletcher liability will not be found where the damage was caused by a wrongful and malicious act of a third party. Click here to remove this judgment from your profile. The learned Judge summed up very carefully and at considerable length, calling the attention of the jury to the whole of the evidence given. She has done nothing wrong. that which is ordinary and usual, even though it may be artificial' vide Rickards v. Lothian (1913) AC 263 followed in Read v… 's, statement of the law on the subject in the judgment appealed from. A few years later the question of law thus left undecided in Fletcher v. Rylands came up for decision in a case arising out of somewhat similar circumstances. Court case. Lord Moultonâ s judgment in that case had been made the basis of several modern judgments, in which it was decided whether damage caused by modem technical installations arose by natural user or not. The principal con tent ion, however, on behalf of the Plaintiff was based on the doctrine Cl1stolllClril)' associated with the case of Fletcher v. Rylands. Rickards v Lothian [1913] A C 263, 82 LJPC 42, 108 LT 225, PC. The Plaintiff eon tended on the other hand that the Defendants having brought and stored the water upon their land for their own purposes were bound to keep it safely there and that if it escaped to adjoining lands and did damage, the Defendants were liable for the breach of this duty whether or not it was due to negligence, The argument took place on a special ease stated by an Arbitrator setting forth the facts and the contentions of the parties. In that case the Defendants had a reservoir on their land which was connected both for supply and discharge with a water course or main drain. At the same time, key issues in the law of tort are critically discussed in great detail. Facts. The proximate cause of the damage here was the malicious act of a third person. Lothian v Rickards - [1911] HCA 16 - Lothian v Rickards (22 May 1911) - [1911] HCA 16 (22 May 1911) - 12 CLR 165 Sedleigh – Denfield v O’Callaghan [1940] AC 880, [1940] 3 All ER 349, HL. ... Quick and accurate citation program Save time when referencing Make your student life easy and fun Pay only once with our Forever plan I admit that it is not a question of negligence. PRESENT AT THE HEARING : THE LORD CHANCELLOR. The Appeal must therefore be allowed and judgment entered for the Defendant in the action with costs in all the Courts, and the Plaintiff must pay the costs of this Appeal, and their Lordships will humbly advise His Majesty accordingly. This flood caused the lakes to burst their dams, and the Plaintiff's adjoining lands were flooded. 14th Oct 2019 Rickards v Lothian [1913] AC 263. [1898] 2 Q.B. 7 Q.B. It is not the Defendant who let loose the -water and sent it to destroy the bridges. Rickards v Lothian [1913] AC 263 Privy Council. The Defendants had been guilty of no negligence either in the construction OJ' use of the reservoir, and they contended that in the absence of negligence they were not liable. The claimant rented premises on the second floor of a building which was used for commercial purposes and ran a business from the premises he was renting. When the contractors discovered a series of old coal shafts improperly filled with debris, they chose to continue work rather than properly blocking them up. It is difficult to understand the answer of the jury to the second question, in view of the finding that the act was malicious, because if the act was malicious the negligence in not providing the lead safe could not be, legally speaking, the cause of the damage. Ross v Fedden (1872) LR 7 Q B 661, 41 LJQB 270, 26 LT 966. But suppose a stranger let it loose, would the Defendant be liable? The gales of climate change blow the future open and closed. Though the sum involved is not large the legal questions raised by the case are of considerable importance and the litigation has been characterised by remarkable differences of judicial opinion upon them. Damages, in any case? Upon these findings the Judge at the trial directed a verdict for the Plaintiff, but gave leave to move to enter a verdict for the Defendant. He leased the building in parts to various business tenants. It cannot be doubted that the presence of a lead safe would have formed no obstacle to his plan, because the outlet from that safe could have been blocked up as easily as the two waste pipes. But in this ease the jury viewed the place, and their finding is a cautious one entirely within their competence. Get 2 points on providing a valid reason for the above Indeed, no such general finding could as a matter of law be sustainable. In that case the Plaintiff was the occupier of the lower floors of the Defendant's house, the upper floors being occupied by the Defendant himself. Selle v Associated Motor Boat Co Ltd [1968] EA 123, EACA. In such matters as the domestic supply of water or gas, it is essential that the mode of supply should be such as to permit ready access for the purpose of use, and hence it is impossible to guard against wilful mischief. In Rickards v. Lothian 3, a tenant on the second floor sued the landlord for damage to his stock in trade caused by the plugging of a lavatory waste pipe on the fourth … * “It must be some special use bringing with it increased danger to others, and must not merely be the ordinary use of the land or such use as is proper for the general benefit of the community.”- The rules and principles making up this area of the law are clearly set out and brought to life by considering how they apply in concrete situations. By clicking on this tab, you are expressly stating that you were one of the attorneys appearing in this matter. Ratio Non-natural use: In order to be liable under Rylands v Fletcher, the use of land must be some special use bringing with it increased danger to … Non-natural use of land is largely context dependant, Rickards v Lothian [1913] AC 263. The Defendant in Nichols v. Marsland (L.R 2, Ex. The defendant was the owner of that building. I do not agree to that; I do not think the maxim, 'Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedus' "applies, Negligence is negatived; and probably, if the Defendants had got notice of the state of the pipe and valve and had done nothing, there might have been ground for the argument that they ,were liable for the consequences; but I do not think the law casts on the Defendants any such obligation as the Plaintiff contends for." The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has allowed the appeal in the case of Rickards v. Lothian, beard in Melbourne. After pointing out that the facts of the case rendered it necessary to decide the point left undecided in Fletcher v. Rylands, he proceeds to lay down the law thereupon in the following language :- "....the ordinary rule of law is that when the law creates a duty, and the party is disabled from performing it without any default of his own, by the act of " God, or the King's enemies, the law will excuse him; but when a party by his own contract creates a� duty, he is bound to make it good notwithstanding any accident by inevitable necessity. Case Box v. Jubb ( L.R i admit that it is broadly stated by Lord Moulton Rickards. Claimant ran a business from the creators of the damage done to Lothian 's property at 156l All 349. He filed an appeal out of time and had to apply for an extension of and. Various business tenants reservoir is a dangerous activity, and in turn flooded the Plaintiff did make... Cheat sheet including case briefs for All Rylands v Fletcher ( 1868 ) LR 7 Q B,... Danger of leakage or overflow had then turned the tap on over the drain overnight caused... 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