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Fletcher v. Rylands

Court of Exchequer
159 Eng. Rep. 737 (Ex. 1865)


Facts

Fletcher (plaintiff) leased several underground coal mines from land adjacent to that owned by Rylands (defendant). Rylands owned a mill, and built a reservoir on his land for the purpose of supplying water to that mill. Rylands employed engineers and contractors to build the reservoir. In the course of building the reservoir, these employees learned that it was being built on top of abandoned underground coal mines. This fact was unknown by Rylands. After the reservoir was completed, it broke and flooded Fletcher’s coal mines. This caused damage to Fletcher’s property, and Fletcher brought suit against Rylands.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Bramwell, B.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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