Spillages of small quantities of solvents occurred over a long period of time which seeped through the floor of the building into the soil below. 5 minutes know interesting legal matters Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 WLR 53 HL (UK Caselaw) [11], Goff looked at the relationship between nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher, particularly how they treat strict liability. Although these spills were individually small, it was estimated around 3,200 US gallons (12,000 L) of PCE were spilled each year. [17], Academic Tom Clearwater criticises some of the language Lord Goff picked out of Rylands v Fletcher for his judgment. The defendant owned a leather tanning business. Stannard (t/a Wyvern Tyres) v Gore [2012] EWCA Civ 1248 (1) The defendant must be the owner or occupier of land. Judgement for the case Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather D had a factory whose chemicals seeped into the ground entering a well that P had bought to supply water to town residents. Diluting Liability for Continuing Escapes The fact that there is a foreseeable and significant danger in the event of an escape is a strong indicator that it is non-natural; The fact that the activity is common in a particular locality or industry is not enough to make it natural. On the Cambridge Water Company's third claim, Kennedy was forced to consider the meaning of "non-natural" in this setting. Due to unforeseen seepage, the defendant’s chemicals contaminated the claimant’s borehole (which was over a mile away). [5], The Cambridge Water Company brought a case against Eastern Counties Leather in the High Court of Justice, wanting £1 million in damages for the cost of finding a new borehole and an unsuccessful attempt to decontaminate the original one, and an injunction to prevent any more use of PCE. This made the water unsafe to drink. Applicability of remoteness of damage rules in nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher cases. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 AC 264. Lord Templeman, Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle, Lord Lowry and Lord Woolf References: [1994] 2 WLR 53 Facts. No Subscription? Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather plc’ is a landmark case. News. [3] During the late 1970s, concerns were expressed about the presence of perchloroethene (PCE) in water, and as a result a European Directive was issued in 1980 requiring nations of the European Community to establish maximum acceptable levels of PCE in water; the United Kingdom did this in 1982. [6] They argued that Eastern Counties Leather were liable in three ways; first, in negligence, second, in nuisance, and third, under the rule developed in Rylands v Fletcher. Lord Macmillan (at pp 170-171) was clear that it had no application to personal injury and Lord Simonds (at p 180) was doubtful. Tests undertaken both before the purchase, and in 1979, had demonstrated that the water was safe for public consumption. Where the company sought damages against a tannery which had permitted perchloroethane to percolate into the aquifer, thereby rendering the water unusable for the purposes of public supply; Peter B Kutner I. Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. [21], Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd, Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v The Miller Steamship Co, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cambridge_Water_Co_Ltd_v_Eastern_Counties_Leather_plc&oldid=965087042, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 June 2020, at 09:45. Considers some implications raised by this case about the scope of environmental damage and liability, and concludes that if damage is reasonably forseeable then liability is strict. CAMBRIDGE WATER CO. v. EASTERN COUNTIES LEATHER Pic. [1] The case then went to the House of Lords, where a decision was read by Lord Goff on 9 December 1993. The Cambridge Water Company Ltd was established by a private Act of Parliament in 1853 to provide water to the residents of Cambridge and the surrounding area; by 1976, the population served had risen to approximately 275,000. The rule in Rylands v Fletcher is best characterised as a sub-species of nuisance. [14] He considered the case of Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v The Miller Steamship Co, in which the Privy Council concluded that foreseeability of damage was an essential part of determining liability in nuisance. Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather plc has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria.If you can improve it further, please do so. The case first went to the High Court of Justice, where Kennedy J dismissed claims under nuisance, negligence and Rylands v Fletcher because the harm was not foreseeable. cambridge water v eastern counties leather. Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 1 All ER 53 is a case in English tort law that established the principle that claims under nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher must include a requirement that the damage be foreseeable; it also suggested that Rylands was a sub-set of nuisance rather than an independent tort, a debate eventually laid to rest in Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. CHECK (Spillage of small quantities of chemical solvents from D's tannery, seeping into the soil below and eventually making their way into the C's borehole which was used for supplying water. FAQ; About; Contact US : A Case Comment Tom Clearwater* I. Want to read more? [15], Goff's judgment made several significant and immediate changes to the law. [16] Secondly, it was the first decision to state that Rylands may be a sub-set of nuisance, and as such applied the same requirement of foreseeability of harm to nuisance, where previously such a requirement had not existed. Talk to us on. It was also significant in implying that Rylands was not an independent tort, something later concluded in the Transco case. Summary Leather Water Eastern Counties Cambridge V 1994. Cambridge Water v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 AC 264 House of Lords. It spilt small quantities of solvents to the nearby area where the claimant’s water company operated and supplied local residents with water. In particular, Goff's use of "anything likely to do mischief if it escapes" and "answer for the natural and anticipated consequences" to justify his argument that Rylands had always intended foreseeability to be a factor suggests Goff "[overstepped] an appropriate reach of interpretation in drawing his conclusion...most cases gloss silently over the [wording]... three cases imply that foreseeability of damage is not a relevant consideration at all". Background Levels of Mercury and Arsenic in Paleoproterozoic Rocks of the Mesabi Iron Range, Northern Minnesota. To set a reading intention, click through to any list item, and look for the panel on the left hand side: Goff's judgment has been criticised on several points by academics, who highlight flaws in wording which leave parts of the judgment ambiguous and a selective assessment of Rylands that ignores outside influences. In nuisance, liability is strict in that the defendant can be liable even if he has taken reasonable care, but this is kept "under control" by the principle that a defendant is not liable for actions a reasonable user takes on his land. [12] In the original judgment in Rylands, the judge had stated that it covered "anything likely to do mischief if it escapes", and that liability should be to "answer for the natural and anticipated consequences"; this wording implies that he intended for "knowledge to be a prerequisite for liability". Must the harm be foreseeable to be recoverable under the rule in. Kennedy also chose to consider foreseeability of harm a factor in cases brought under Rylands, and stated the fact that harm was not foreseeable was a factor in his decision. To set a reading intention, click through to any list item, and look for the panel on the left hand side: Based on the original decision in Rylands, Goff argued that it had always been intended for foreseeability of harm to be a factor, something not previously put into law by the English judiciary. As such, the Company's claim under Rylands was not valid. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse. [7] The case came before Kennedy J, who dismissed all three of the Company's claims. On the matter of negligence, he held that the damage had to be reasonably foreseeable, as was required under Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd; he applied this same test to the claim under nuisance. Thecontamination was caused by a solvent known as Perchloroethene (PCE). In Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc (1994) [11] a water company claimed damages against a tannery which had allowed the solvent perchloroethane to percolate into an aquifer and this had the effect of rendering the water unusable for the purposes of public supply. Saskatchewan Law Review Cambridge Water Co. Ltd. v. Eastern Counties Leather Plc. Applying the case of Hughes v Lord Advocate, Kennedy found that the harm was not reasonably foreseeable, and both actions under nuisance and negligence must fail. First, and most obviously, it testifies to the neglected and polluted state of British groundwater which is used to supply over 30 per cent of domestic water in England and Wales.2 Since the demand for domestic drinking water rises ~nremittingly,~ the protection of underground water resources is vital. Nuisance - Where the company sought damages against a tannery which had permitted perchloroethane to percolate into the aquifer, thereby rendering the water unusable for the purposes of public supply; Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 AC 264 Goff: non-natural = non- ? How do I set a reading intention. It was found that the Sawston borehole was contaminated with PCE that had originated in a tannery owned by Eastern Counties Leather. The recent decision in Cambridge Water Co. Ltd. v. Eastern Counties Leather Plc.3 illustrates this ambivalence and raises a variety of questions about the scope, application and policy grounding of the doctrine in a modern setting. Filters. live chat. Newark in 1949, in which Newark called the decision in Rylands "a simple case of nuisance" rather than a revolutionary doctrine that established strict liability outside nuisance. [13], Lord Goff's judgment was primarily based on whether or not foreseeability of damage should be a factor in Rylands cases, and was that the matter was "open for consideration", saying that the need for foreseeability of damage to be a criterion was "a matter of principle". Clearwater points out that the original judgment in Rylands required modification "the price paid for which was legal uncertainty" to make it socially acceptable, which he sees as evidence that Rylands was, despite what Newark says, a significant change to the law. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 AC 264. ; Contact us to discuss your requirements. Discusses and details the 1994 case of Cambridge Water Co. v. Eastern Countries Leather plc and comments on the decision of the House of Lords, which found in favour of the polluter (ECL). Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather plc: Diluting Liability for Continuing Escapes David Wilkinson* Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather plc is a landmark case. Facts. However, he noted that: Cambridge Water v Eastern Counties Leather – Case Summary. In Cambridge Water Co. v. Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 A.C. 264, 300 Lord Goff argued that a plaintiff should not be able to recover for damage to property more easily than personal injury. His decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, who cited an "obscure decision" to justify doing so. Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather [1994] 2 AC 264 Case summary last updated at 19/01/2020 16:45 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team. Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 1 All ER 53. If, as Goff was stating, Rylands was an element of nuisance, this decision should apply to it. How do I set a reading intention. [19], Peter Kutner, a professor of law at the University of Oklahoma, argues that there is a significant ambiguity in Goff's judgment. Cambridge Water Co. v. Eastern Counties Leather plc 1. And in Transco, Lord Goff (Said the same thing) 1. The investigators concluded that the PCE had come from Eastern Counties Leather plc, a leather tannery in Sawston. The trial judge held that the remoteness requirement did not apply to Rylands v Fletcher liability, but the defendant was still not liable because their use of the land was natural. Considers some implications raised by this case about the scope of environmental damage and liability, and … Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc ((1994) 2 AC 264, 306) [1994] 2 WLR 53 - (Applied) - Nuisance . This case is where the company sought damages against a tannery which had permitted perchloroethane to percolate into an aquifer, thereby rendering the water unusable for the purposes of public supply. Log in. ; Lively, R.S. [4], An investigation immediately ensued. Prior to 1980, there was no knowledge that PCE should be avoided or that it could cause harm, but the Cambridge Water Company brought a case against Eastern Counties Leather anyway. Where the company sought damages against a tannery which had permitted perchloroethane to percolate into the aquifer, thereby rendering the water unusable for the purposes of public supply; The Decision. Cambridge Water v Eastern Counties Leather (1994) o claim failed because not reasonable foreseeable that chemicals would cause damage if escaped-*Transco plc v Stockport (2003) o defendants were not at fault (not negligent) don’t need to show negligence for private nuisance Facts: The defendant was the owner of a leather tanning business. Foreseeability of harm of the relevant type by the defendant is a prerequisite of the recovery of damages both in nuisance and under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher. 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