Read -v- J Lyons & Co Ltd; HL 1946

The plaintiff was employed by the Ministry of Defence, inspecting a weapons factory. A shell exploded injuring her. No negligence was alleged. The company worked as agent for the ministry.
Held: The respondents were not liable, since there had been no escape from the land which was a pre-requisite to liability under Rylands -v- Fletcher. No claim in nuisance or under the rule can arise if the events complained of take place wholly on the land of a single occupier. There must be an escape from one tenement to another. ‘escape . . means escape from a place where the defendant has occupation of or control over land to a place which is outside his occupation or control.’ and ‘For if a man commits a legal nuisance it is no answer to his injured neighbour that he took the utmost care not to commit it. There the liability is strict, and there he alone has a lawful claim who has suffered an invasion of some proprietary or other interest in land.’

Court: HL
Date: 01-Jan-1946
Judges: Lord Simonds, Viscount Simon, Lord MacMillan, Lord Porter, Lord Uthwatt
Links: Bailii,
References: [1947] AC 156, [1946] 2 All ER 471, [1947] LJR 39, [1946] 175 LT 413, [1946] 62 TLR 646, [1946] 91 Sol J Jo 54, [1946] UKHL 2
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