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 plc [1994] 2 AC 264 House of Lords. 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 Defendants were engaged in leather tanning at Sawston. 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. [11], Goff looked at the relationship between nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher, particularly how they treat strict liability. Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 AC 264 is a Tort Law case focusing on nuisance and the Rylands v Fletcher rule. Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc : Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc ((1994) 2 AC 264, 306) [1994] 2 WLR 53 - (Applied) - Nuisance. Applicability of remoteness of damage rules in nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher cases. Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc ((1994) 2 AC 264, 306) [1994] 2 WLR 53. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it. 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. [1] The case then went to the House of Lords, where a decision was read by Lord Goff on 9 December 1993. Citations: [1994] 2 AC 264; [1994] 2 WLR 53; [1994] 1 All ER 53; [1994] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 261; [1994] Env LR 105; [1993] EG 211 (CS). Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather plc’ is a landmark case. ; Lively, R.S. 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. 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. 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. Cambridge Water Company (CWC), in damages in respect ofdamage suffered by reason of the contamination of water available forabstraction at CWC's borehole at Sawston Mill near Cambridge. Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. The tannery used PCE as a degreasing agent, beginning in the 1960s; by 1976, 100,000 US gallons (380,000 L) of this chemical were used by the tannery each year, with up to 25,000 US gallons (95,000 L) on the premises at any one time. 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. First, it was the first decision which imposed a requirement of foreseeability of harm to cases brought under Rylands v Fletcher; "it must be shown that the defendant has done something which he recognised, or judged by the standards appropriate at the relevant place or time, or ought reasonably to have recognised, as giving rise to an exceptionally high risk of danger or mischief if there should be an escape, however unlikely an escape may have been thought to be". The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse. To set a reading intention, click through to any list item, and look for the panel on the left hand side: [7] The case came before Kennedy J, who dismissed all three of the Company's claims. As a result, the Cambridge Water Company was forced to cease pumping the water, and instead find a new borehole elsewhere. The case concerned an escaped substance which polluted a water source owned by the plaintiff. [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. In 1976, they purchased a borehole outside Sawston to deal with rising demand. Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather plc. To set a reading intention, click through to any list item, and look for the panel on the left hand side: Goff first addressed the Court of Appeal's use of Ballard v Tomlinson, stating that the decision there as based on the facts of the case, and did not establish either a rule that there was a right to clear water, nor that there was strict liability attached to that right. Filters. He took into consideration an article published by F.H. CAMBRIDGE WATER CO. v. EASTERN COUNTIES LEATHER PLC [1994] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 261 HOUSE OF LORDS Before Lord Templeman, Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle, Lord Lowry and Lord Woolf. The court, composed of Nolan LJ, Mann LJ and Sir Stephen Brown, reversed Kennedy's decision. The House of Lords has now heard the appeal in the case of Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather plc and reserved judgment. 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. Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather Plc House of Lords. To set a reading intention, click through to any list item, and look for the panel on the left hand side: Lord Goff declined to fully define the concept of ‘naturalness’ under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher. Facts. [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 Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 AC 264 Goff: non-natural = non- ? D used and stored a chlorinated solvent at its tannery, situated just over a mile from P’s borehole where water was abstracted for domestic use. He also states that the decision did not explain precisely whether Rylands should be treated as a development within the law of nuisance, or something which sprung from nuisance and retains a separate existence. As such, the Company's claim under Rylands was not valid. Facts: The defendant was the owner of a leather tanning business. Citations: [1994] 2 AC 264; [1994] 2 WLR 53; [1994] 1 All ER 53; [1994] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 261; [1994] Env LR 105; [1993] EG 211 (CS). Thecontamination was caused by a solvent known as Perchloroethene (PCE). [12] Goff also found similarities between the principle of "non-natural use" under Rylands and that of the "reasonable user" requirement in nuisance, concluding that "[I]t would lead to a more coherent body of common law principles if the rule [in Rylands] were to be regarded essentially as an extension of the law of nuisance". Was the storage of chemicals a natural use? Facts. [4], An investigation immediately ensued. Want to read more? [9] Despite a lack of comment by the appellants on the claim under nuisance, the court addressed this ground, relying on the "obscure decision" found in Ballard v Tomlinson,[10] concluding that "where the nuisance is an interference with a natural right incident to ownership then the liability is a strict one". Due to unforeseen seepage, the defendant’s chemicals contaminated the claimant’s borehole (which was over a mile away). Eastern Counties Leather Plc (ECL), is liable to the respondentcompany. The dendant stored chemicals on its land for use in tanning. [17], Academic Tom Clearwater criticises some of the language Lord Goff picked out of Rylands v Fletcher for his judgment. Background Levels of Mercury and Arsenic in Paleoproterozoic Rocks of the Mesabi Iron Range, Northern Minnesota. However, he noted that: Cambridge Water v Eastern Counties Leather – Case Summary. 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. C had to abandon the borehole at considerable expense. 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. If, as Goff was stating, Rylands was an element of nuisance, this decision should apply to it. cambridge water v eastern counties leather. [1], Rylands v Fletcher contained the principle that "the 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 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", with a requirement that this use of land be "non-natural". The Council stated that "It could not be right to discriminate between different cases of nuisance so as to make foreseeability a necessary element in determining damages in those cases where it is a necessary element in determining liability, but not in others". [20] He interpreted the Cambridge Water Company decision as not being sufficient to completely write out Rylands as a distinct doctrine; this was later done by the House of Lords in Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. Saskatchewan Law Review Cambridge Water Co. Ltd. v. Eastern Counties Leather Plc. Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather Plc: HL 9 Dec 1993. Lord Macmillan (at pp 170-171) was clear that it had no application to personal injury and Lord Simonds (at p 180) was doubtful. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse. 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; His decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, who cited an "obscure decision" to justify doing so. The Case of Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather Plc The case of Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather Plc, has overruled the fundamental case under strict liability which is Rylands v Fletcher.There are several reasons were given by the judge on the new principle established in this Cambridge case. This made the water unsafe to drink. 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. 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. The judgment was given by Lord Goff on 9 December 1993, and reinstated the decision of Kennedy J in the High Court of Justice; unlike the Court of Appeal decision, it directly addressed the issue of Rylands v Fletcher. Scientific Test Drilling and Mapping in East-Central Minnesota, 1994-1995: Summary of Lithologic Creative Writing Prompt For 5th Grade Results 1999 , Morey, G.B. How do I set a reading intention. 804,806. Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 1 All ER 53. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 AC 264. Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc ((1994) 2 AC 264, 306) [1994] 2 WLR 53 - (Applied) - Nuisance . [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". Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 AC 264. The Cambridge Water Company were a company responsible for providing potable water to the inhabitants of Cambridge and the surrounding areas. 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). : A Case Comment Tom Clearwater* I. cambridge water v eastern counties leather. The defendant owned a leather tanning business. 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. 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. 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. The remoteness of damage requirement applied to both nuisance and the rule in Rylands v Fletcher. And in Transco, Lord Goff (Said the same thing) 1. 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. The Case of Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather Plc The case of Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather Plc, has overruled the fundamental case under strict liability which is Rylands v Fletcher.There are several reasons were given by the judge on the new principle established in this Cambridge case. The House of Lords held in favour of the defendant. 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. [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. Lord Templeman, Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle, Lord Lowry and Lord Woolf References: [1994] 2 WLR 53 FAQ; About; Contact US Existing subscriber? ; Contact us to discuss your requirements. 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. Stannard (t/a Wyvern Tyres) v Gore [2012] EWCA Civ 1248 (1) The defendant must be the owner or occupier of land. Talk to us on. [1], The case was again appealed, this time to the House of Lords, where it was heard by Lord Templeman, Lord Goff, Lord Jauncey, Lord Lowry and Lord Woolf. Call an Expert: 0800 231 5199. Must the harm be foreseeable to be recoverable in nuisance? This content requires a Croner-i subscription. 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. Although there were no health risks, an EU … Peter B Kutner I. INTRODUCTION Rylands v. Fletcher1 has a strong claim to be the most famous case in the law of torts and the case that individually added more to the established bases of tort liability than any other. Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. [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". 3 Ibid , at pp. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994] 2 AC 264. The Facts . These spills collected in the chalk underlying Sawston until groundwater swept them into the Cambridge Water Company's borehole. [18] The reliance on Newark's article was also criticised, since "Neither he nor Goff attempted to justify their opinion with reference to anything external to [the Rylands] judgment". Diluting Liability for Continuing Escapes 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. They agreed that the defendant’s use of the land was non-natural, but the actions failed because the claimant could not establish that their losses were sufficiently non-remote. 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 Pic. Although these spills were individually small, it was estimated around 3,200 US gallons (12,000 L) of PCE were spilled each year. The orthodox view is that the rule in Rylands v Fletcher is a special sub-category of private nuisance and not a distinct tort. 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 Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather Plc [1994] 2 WLR 53; Cambridge Water Co Ltd v Eastern Counties Leather Plc [1994] 2 WLR 53. [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. Cambridge Water Co. v. Eastern Counties Leather plc 1. Eastern Counties Leather The Polluter′s Charter Rosalind Lee 1994-09-01 00:00:00 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). How do I set a reading intention. Cases brought under Rylands v Fletcher now have a requirement that the harm was foreseeable, but it was not defined whether or not it was sufficient that it be foreseeable that harm could occur, or that it be foreseeable that the use of land is "non-natural", that the substance be capable of doing "mischief", and all the other requirements of Rylands. PCE was leaking out of the drums it was carried in, first by being spilt when it was tipped into the degreasing machines and second by leaking from near-empty drums. 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. 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