Rule in Ryland’s V Fletcher and defenses to the rule

State the rule in Ryland’s V Fletcher and explain three defenses to the rule

Rules in Ryland’s V Fletcher

We the rule of the law is, that the person who for his own purpose brings on his land and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it in at his peril, and, if he does not do so, is prima facie answerable for all damage which is the natural consequences of its escape.

Defenses to the rule in Ryland’s V Fletcher

  • Plaintiff fault: Where the escape in question resulted from some fault on the part of the plaintiff this may be used as a defence.
  • Act of strangers: if the escape was caused by the act of a stranger over which the defendant has no control, the defendant will escape liability.
  • Statutory authority
  • Act of God: An act of God is an event which is human foresight can provide against and of which human prudence in not bound to recognize the possibility.
  • Consent/benefit: If the claimant receives a benefit from the thing accumulated they may be deemed to have consented to the accumulation.



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