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Rylands v. Fletcher

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 24 Nev. 251, 52 P. 274,1898 Nev.

Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff sued in connection with the flooding of his mine. The trial court found in his favor. Defendant sought review.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A person who for his own purposes brings on his lands and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it in at his peril, and, if he does not do so, is prima facie answerable for all the damage which is the natural consequence of its escape.

Facts. Plaintiff owned and operated a mine adjacent to which Defendant constructed an artificial pond. The latter caused a mineshaft collapse, which resulted in a flood, and damaged Plaintiff’s operation. The plaintiff sued, the matter was brought before an arbitrator to independently establish facts. The trial court found for Plaintiff; the appellate court affirmed; Defendant appealed to the House of Lords, which also affirmed.

Issue. Was the use of Defendant’s land unreasonable and thus was he to be held liable for damages incurred by Plaintiff?

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