Ambrose Mpaka employed Bernard Mpole, an independent contractor to undertake some excavation work on his land. In the process, a greenhouse belonging to Eli Jirani, a neighbour was damaged by the debris from the excavations. Eli Jirani’s employees took advantage of the situation and looted all the plants in the greenhouse. Eli Jirani is aggrieved and seeks your legal advice as to whether he could successfully sue Ambrose Mpaka. Advise Eli Jirani on the legal principles applicable in the above case.

Legal principle in this case is strict liability

(Ryland V Fletcher)

Anyone who brings or collects anything on his land which is likely to do harm if it escapes must keep it at his own risk otherwise he will be liable for the consequences of such an example.

For the rule to apply;

  • There must be a non-natural user of the land.
  • There must be an escape from the defendant land to a place outside his occupation.
  • The plaintiff must have suffered harm.

In this case, Ambrose Mpaka is still liable even if he had employed Mpole, an independent contractor.  (This is under strict liability).

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