Walker Morris on Rylands v Fletcher: nuisance and the danger with delay
Willis v Derwentshire was a claim for damages in nuisance, negligence and under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher, arising from the escape of dangerous gas from land owned by the defendant (the council).
The claimants owned a house and garden, and occupied neighbouring land which they used as a smallholding, adjacent to land comprising extensive disused underground coal workings which had been purchased by the Council from the National Coal Board in 1978. The Council’s purchase was subject to covenants that it would infill and maintain abandoned coal workings and would indemnify the Coal Board against any liability or expense not associated with ongoing mining operations after the date of the conveyance. Immediately south of the claimants’ garden lay the mouth of an abandoned coal drift (or tunnel). The combination of reduced oxygen and increased carbon dioxide in the workings produced emissions of large quantities of stythe gas, which can cause loss of consciousness and asphyxiation. The claimants were temporarily evacuated from their property in 2006, due to a perceived unacceptable risk to their safety, while a programme of remedial works was undertaken by the (now) Coal Authority but paid for by the Council…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Walker Morris briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from Walker Morris
News from The Lawyer
Analysis from The Lawyer
Which firms are cutting it in this era of slimline rosters, and who are the GC new brooms making clean sweeps? The Lawyer can reveal all
The law school war shows no signs of ending. But we have, perhaps, reached the end of the beginning.