Longhurst v Metropolitan Water Board: HL 1948

Water had leaked from a main and disturbed paving stones in the highway. The water board had had no knowledge of or reason to suspect any danger to the public at the place in question.
Held: Affirming the Court of Appeal, since the board was acting under statutory authority in maintaining the main, they were not liable in the absence of negligence.


[1948] 2 All ER 834


England and Wales


CitedRylands v Fletcher HL 1868
The defendant had constructed a reservoir to supply water to his mill. Water escaped into nearby disused mineshafts, and in turn flooded the plaintiff’s mine. The defendant appealed a finding that he was liable in damages.
Held: The defendant . .
AppliedGreen v Chelsea Waterworks Co 1894
A water main belonging to a waterworks company, which had been authorized by Parliament to lay the main, burst. There had been no negligence on the part of the waterworks company. The claimants’ premises were flooded but the waterworks company was . .

Cited by:

CitedTransco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council HL 19-Nov-2003
Rylands does not apply to Statutory Works
The claimant laid a large gas main through an embankment. A large water supply pipe nearby broke, and very substantial volumes of water escaped, causing the embankment to slip, and the gas main to fracture.
Held: The rule in Rylands v Fletcher . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.188040