Whitwham v Westminster Brymbo Coal and Coke Co: CA 1896

Common law damages for the misuse of property involved an award of a sum equivalent to the price or hire that a reasonable person would pay for such use, even if the owner would not himself actually have been using the property. This case involved trespass to land by tipping.
Lindley LJ observed ‘that if one man runs trucks on rails over another man’s land it does not do any harm whatever, and there is no pecuniary damage’, but that the law was now settled. He stated the principle: ‘if one person has without leave of another been using that other’s land for his own purposes, he ought to pay for such user.’
References: [1896] 2 Ch 538
Judges: Rigby, Lindley LJ
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case cites:

  • Approved – Jegon v Vivian 1871
    Unauthorised mining of land – measure of damages.
    Held: Although the value of his land may not have been diminished by the trespass, the plaintiff recovered damages equivalent to what he would have received if he had been paid for a wayleave. . .
    ((1871) LR 6 Ch App 742)

This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Experience Hendrix LLC v PPX Enterprises Inc and Another CA 20-Mar-2003
    The claimant had obtained an interim injunction against the defendant for copyright infringement, though it could show no losses. It now sought additionally damages. The defendant argued that it could not have both.
    Held: The case arose form . .
    (, [2003] EWCA Civ 323, Times 19-Apr-03, Gazette 05-Jun-03, [2003] 1 All ER (Comm) 830)
  • Cited – Severn Trent Water Ltd v Barnes CA 13-May-2004
    The water company appealed an award of damages after it had been found to have laid a water main under the claimant’s land without his knowledge or consent. The court had awarded restitutionary damages.
    Held: The judge fell into error in . .
    (, [2004] EWCA Civ 570, [2004] 2 EGLR 95, [2004] 26 EG 194, [2005] RVR 181)
  • Cited – Wrotham Park Estate Ltd v Parkside Homes Ltd ChD 1974
    55 houses had been built by the defendant, knowingly in breach of a restrictive covenant, imposed for the benefit of an estate, and in the face of objections by the claimant.
    Held: The restrictive covenant not to develop other than in . .
    ([1974] 1 WLR 798, [1974] 2 All ER 321)
  • 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)
  • Cited – Jones and Another v Ruth and Another CA 12-Jul-2011
    The parties were neighbours. The claimants succeeded in their assertion of trespass and nuisance in building works carried out by the defendant. The claimant appealed against the judge’s failure to award damages for harassment, saying that though . .
    (, [2011] EWCA Civ 804, [2012] 1 All ER 490, [2012] 1 WLR 1495, [2011] CILL 3085)
  • Cited – Ramzan v Brookwide Ltd CA 19-Aug-2011
    The defendant had broken through into a neighbour’s flying freehold room, closed it off, and then included it in its own premises for let. It now appealed against the quantum of damages awarded. The judge had found the actions deliberate and with a . .
    (, [2011] EWCA Civ 985)

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 26 November 2020; Ref: scu.180879