Rule in Rylands -vs- Fletcher and its exceptions

The rule in Rylands V. Fletcher is the rule of strict liability or liability without fault.
This rule is to the effect that a person who for his own purpose brings to his land and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes must do so at his peril and is prima facie answerable for all the damage which is a natural consequence if its escape.
This rule was formulated in Rylands V. Fletcher where an employer was held liable for the negligence of his independent contractor.

The principal exceptions to this rule include:

  • Contributory negligence
  • Act of stranger or third party.
  • Plaintiffs consent or benefit.
  • Act of God.
  • Statutory authority.
  • Things naturally on the land.
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