Ellis v Loftus Iron Co: 1874

The pasturing of cattle must be one of the most ordinary uses of land, and strict liability for damage done by cattle enclosed on one man’s land if they escape thence into the land of another, is one of the most ancient propositions of our law. It is in fact a case of pure trespass to property, and thus constitutes a wrong without any question of negligence.
Lord Coleridge CJ said: ‘It is clear that, in determining the question of trespass or no trespass, the court cannot measure the amount of the alleged trespass; if the defendant places a part of his foot on the plaintiff’s land unlawfully, it is in law as much a trespass as if he had walked half a mile on it.’
References: (1874) LR 10 CP 10
Judges: Lord Coleridge CJ
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Drury v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs CA 26-Feb-2004
    Trespassers occupied part of the land owned by the claimant. They now appealed agaainst an injunction preventing them unlawfully occupying any part of the claimant’s land including areas not previously occupied.
    Held: It was critical to . .
    (, [2004] EWCA Civ 200, Times 15-Mar-04, Gazette 25-Mar-04, [2004] 1 WLR 1906, [2004] 2 All ER 1056)
  • Cited – Read 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 . .
    ([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)
  • Cited – Star Energy Weald Basin Ltd and Another v Bocardo Sa SC 28-Jul-2010
    The defendant had obtained a licence to extract oil from its land. In order to do so it had to drill out and deep under the Bocardo’s land. No damage at all was caused to B’s land at or near the surface. B claimed in trespass for damages. It now . .
    (, [2010] UKSC 35, , , , , [2010] WLR (D) 204, [2010] NPC 88, [2010] 3 WLR 654, [2011] AC 380, [2010] 31 EG 63, [2010] 3 All ER 975)

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 27 November 2020; Ref: scu.194591