There is strict liability for activities that involve an inherent and substantial risk of harm. Generally, if a defendant engages in such an activity, the defendant is strictly liable for any harm caused. Limitations
Strict liability extends only to foreseeable plaintiffs who are injured by a kind of risk that made the activity ultra-hazardous. For example, radiation is the foreseeable risk of a nuclear reactor. However, if a wall of the reactor collapses because of an earthquake strict liability would not be applied because that is not the risk that makes a reactor dangerous.
The defendant is not liable if the plaintiff is hurt because of the plaintiff’s abnormal sensitivity.
Determination Some factors to consider when determining whether an activity is ultrahazardous are:
the degree of risk of harm to persons or property.
the seriousness of the harm that could result.
whether the activity cannot be performed with complete safety.
whether the activity is commonly engaged in.
the location at which the activity is performed.
the value to the community v. the activity’s dangerous attributes.
Examples Some examples of ultrahazardous activities include the operation of nuclear reactors, the use and storage of explosives and the spraying of crops. Note: The operation of an airplane is not considered to be an ultrahazardous activity, but some courts will rule that strict liability for ground damage from aviation accidents is applicable. Defenses