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Rylands v Fletcher, rule in

A principle of strict liability for dangerous things accumulated on land that escape from the land and cause damage. It was first stated in the case Rylands v Fletcher (1868), in which the defendant had a reservoir built on his land that caused flooding of the plaintiff’s mine. The accumulation of dangerous things must constitute a non-natural use of the land. In modern law a use is non-natural if it is a special use creating an abnormal risk of damage. The occupier of the land is liable for damage caused by an escape, subject to the defences of common benefit, act of a stranger, statutory authority, consent of the plaintiff, default of the plaintiff, or act of God.

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