TO : ALEC DAWSON
FROM : KAREN REBECCA EDWARDS
RE : LEGAL EAGLES
Summary of Facts
I am asked by the owner of The Friday Shop and the owners of the apartments (Claimants) to write an opinion to establish if they are able to claim for damages from Boutique Bugs (Defendant) for the amount of $1,100,000 based on the elements of the rule in Rylands v Fletcher.
Rylands v Fletcher (R v. F) is based on the doctrine of Strict Liability. This means that the defendant is liable for all damages caused by engaging in hazardous of dangerous activities. Blackburn J at 279 states “We think that the true rule of the law is, that the personal who for his own purposes brings on his lands and collects and keeps there …show more content…
Boutique Bugs were only aware of the escape of the bugs not instantly and therefore could not rectify or put a stop to the issue immediately.
2. The escape of borer bugs caused by the accident
The hailstorm which caused the accident was “out of the control” of Boutique Bugs it was an “Act of God” in which no human could foresee even with prudence of such an event (New Zealand Forest Products v O’Sullivan)
Whilst it is fair to say that Boutique Bugs had no control over the hailstorm being an “Act of God” and that all due care was taken to prevent the bugs from escaping and did not foresee the bugs escaping from the research facility thus claim that they have no liability under negligence, under the ruling of R v. F, Boutique Bugs are ultimately liable for all damages under the doctrine of Strict Liability.
There are further defences available for Boutique Bugs, in addition to negligence and Act of God. The defendant may argue that the employee (Cricket) who was the driver of the truck at the time of the accident is an “Act of Stanger” as Cricket was on her day off and therefore the defendant was not “in control” of the employee. However,
S28(1)(b) The Accident Compensation Act 2001 implies that Cricket is still an employee regardless of the fact that it was her day off and therefore Boutique Bugs was still liable for the escape of borer bugs.