Smith v Kenrick: CCP 14 Feb 1849

Where there are two minings working adjacent land, each has the right to work his own mine, and to construct shafts in his own mine in whatever way he thinks fit, and even if this results naturally in damage to the neighbour’s mine, provided he is neither malicious nor negligent. Water had flowed from the defendant’s mine into the plaintiff’s mine. The defendant had merely dug holes in the ordinary course of mining and the water flowed into the other mine by gravitation. He was not liable. Cresswell J said: ‘it would seem to be the natural right of each of the owners of two adjoining coal-mines . . to work his own in the manner most convenient and beneficial to himself, although the natural consequence may be that some prejudice will accrue to the owner of the adjoining mine, so long as that does not arise from the neglect or malicious conduct of the party.’

Cresswell J
[1849] 7 CB 515, [1849] LJCP 172, [1849] 12 LTOS 556, [1849] 13 Jur 362, [1849] 137 ER 205
England and Wales
Cited by:
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 . .
CitedLeakey v The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty CA 31-Jul-1979
Natural causes were responsible for soil collapsing onto neighbouring houses in Bridgwater.
Held: An occupier of land owes a general duty of care to a neighbouring occupier in relation to a hazard occurring on his land, whether such hazard is . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 05 January 2022; Ref: scu.188026