The United Zinc & Chemical Company (United) (defendant) owned a 20-acre tract of land on which it operated a plant that made sulfuric acid and zinc spelter. United razed the plant but left the basement in the ground. Water accumulated in the basement. The water looked clear but was actually poisoned with sulfuric acid and zinc. The Britts were traveling near United’s property when their children, aged eight and eleven, walked onto the property and into the water. The children were poisoned and died. The Britts brought suit against United. The trial court found in favor of the Britts. The court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.