Dymond v Pearce: CA 13 Jan 1972

A motorcyclist crashed into the rear of a lorry stationary on the carriageway. The plaintff said that the parking of the lorry was a nuisance, and that if it had not been so parked, there would have been no accident.
Held: The appeal failed. The accident was due wholly to the negligence of the motorcyclist. ‘sine qua non is not an all-sufficient basis for establishing liability.’ In criminal law at least nuisance must be actual as opposed to potential.


Sachs LJ, Edmund Davies LJ, Stephenson LJ


[1972] 1 All ER 1142, [1972] EWCA Civ 7, [1972] 2 WLR 633, [1972] 1 QB 496, [1972] RTR 169




England and Wales


CitedMorton v Wheeler CA 31-Jan-1956
Sharp spikes by the side of a highway were said to be a nuisance. Lord Denning MR said: ‘As all lawyers know, the tort of public nuisance is a curious mixture. It covers a multitude of sins. We are concerned to-day with only one of them, namely, a . .
CitedMaitland v Raisbeck CA 1944
Lord Greene MR said: ‘Every person . . has a right to use the highway and, if something happens to him which in fact causes an obstruction to the highway but is in no way referable to his fault, it is quite impossible, in my view, to say that ipso . .
CitedFarrel v Mowlem 1954
The defendant had without justification laid a pipe across a pavement and the plaintiff tripped over it and was injured.
Held: The defendant was liable in nuisance. Devlin J said, as to the pipe: ‘No doubt it is a comparatively harmless sort . .
CitedRead v J Lyons and 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 . .
CitedOverseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Miller Steamship Co Pty (The Wagon Mound) (No 2) PC 25-May-1966
(New South Wales) When considering the need to take steps to avoid injury, the court looked to the nature of defendant’s activity. There was no social value or cost saving in this defendant’s activity. ‘In the present case there was no justification . .
CitedParish v Judd 1960
A lorry and a car it was towing stopped, obstructing the highway. The plaintiff crashed into them, and claimed that they constituted a nuisance. The vehicles had only just stopped, and the driver was checking that all was well with the car. The . .
CitedTrevetts v Lee CA 1955
Lord Evershed MR said: ‘The law as regards obstruction to highways is conveniently stated in a passage in Salmond on Torts, 13th edition: ‘A nuisance to a highway consists either in obstructing it or in rendering it dangerous’. Then a numbed of . .
CitedMorton v Weaver CA 31-Jan-1956
The court distinguished between obstructions of a highway and dangers created on it. Lord Denning MR asked: ‘How are we to determine whether a state of affairs in or near a highway is a danger?’ and answered ‘This depends, I think, on whether injury . .

Cited by:

CitedRouse v Squires CA 22-Mar-1973
. .
CitedHoughton v Stannard QBD 29-Oct-2003
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Road Traffic, Nuisance

Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.188834