Property > Property Law Keyed to Cribbet > Improving Another's Property By Mistake (Accession)
Isle Royal Mining Co. v. Hertin
View this case and other resources at:
Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiffs mistakenly cut wood on land owned by Defendant mining company and placed the wood by a lake, which Defendant then took possession of and disposed of for its own purposes.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
Because mistake is not a defense to trespass, no affirmative right may be created through such trespass, and the rule of title by accession is inapplicable due to the minimal difference in value between the standing wood and the cut wood.
Plaintiffs trespassed, making a mistake as to their location, onto the lands of the Defendant mining company and cut cord wood which was then taken to the bank of Portage Lake. The following spring the Defendant mining company took possession of the wood and disposed of it for its own purposes. The evidence adduced at trial indicated the worth of the cut wood to be $2.87