Countess of Rothes v Kirkcaldy Waterworks Commissioners: HL 26 Jul 1882

Reparation – Property – Damage done by Flood – water – Liability of Statutory Commissioners – Damnum fatale – Kirkcaldy and Dysart Water – Works Act 1867 (30 and 31 Vict. cap. cxxxix).
Statutory commissioners were authorised by Act of Parliament to construct waterworks, reservoirs, andc., under various conditions and restrictions, and, inter alia, that they should make good to a proprietor of lands, through which a burn that had been intercepted to feed one of their reservoirs passed in its subsequent course, any damage caused by reason of ‘any bursting or flood or escape of water’ from the reservoir. Held ( diss. Lord Blackburn, and rev. judgment of the Court of Session) that the commissioners were liable for damages to the lands of the inferior proprietor occasioned by a flood coming from their reservoir, whether that flood was or was not due to the existence of the reservoir.


Lords Blackburn, Watson, and Fitzgerald


[1882] UKHL 907, 19 SLR 907






Updated: 04 July 2022; Ref: scu.637742