Strict Liaibility

STRICT LIAIBILITY

 

Introduction:

 

A tort is a civil wrong that injures another person. Tort give rise to civil causes of action in court, and can result from both intentional and unintentional acts. Tort law developed in large part as a method by which:

  • Society could be protected against wrongful actors; and
  • Individuals could resolve their disputes in an orderly fashion without resorting to violence and other inappropriate methods of resolution. To a great extent, tort law often follows criminal law.

 

Strict Liability:

 

Strict liability applies to certain causes of action that require no wrongful intent at all on the part of the tortfeasor. The most common form of strict liability applies in products liability cases. In Oregon, product liability civil action can be taken against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and lessors of dangerous products liable for personal injury, death, or property damage arising out of

  • Defects in design, testing, inspection, and manufacturing
  • Failure to warn
  • Failure to property instruct

 

Definition:

 

Liability incurred for causing damage or harm to life, limb, or property without the necessity of providing intent or negligence.

 

Essentials:

 

Dangerous thing

According to the above mentioned rule, the liability of escape of a thing from a person’s land will arise only when the thing or substance collected is a dangerous thing i.e. a thing which is likely to cause mischief or damage to other people in person or their property on its escape.

 

Non-natural use of land

Another essential condition for the defendant to be held liable under this principle it is also necessary that there should be the non-natural use of land. As in Ryland’s VS Fletcher case, the use of water in such a large amount was the non-natural use of land; storing water in usual amount doesn’t lead to any non-natural use. That is, for the use to be non-natural it must be for special purpose brings with it increased danger to others.

 

Escape

The thing that has caused damage or mischief must ‘escape’ from the area under the occupation and control of the defendant.

 

Exceptions of Strict Liability

The strict liability rule does not apply in cases involving the following exceptions

The strict liability rule does not apply in cases involving the following exception:

1. Act of God

The phrase “act of God’ can be defined as an event which is beyond the control of any human agency. Such acts happen exclusively due to natural reasons and cannot be prevented even while exercising caution and foresight. The defendant wouldn’t be liable for the loss if the dangerous substances escaped because of some unforeseen and natural event which couldn’t have been controlled in any manner.

 

2. Wrongful Act of third party

Sometimes, the involvement of third parties may be the cause of damages. For example, renovation work in one flat may cause some nuisance to another flat. Here, the tenant affected by the nuisance cannot sue his landlord. He can only sue the person renovating the other flat.

 

3. Plaintiff’s own fault In several instances, the plaintiff may himself be at fault for the damage he suffers. In such cases, he cannot shift liability on some other person regardless of how much he suffers.

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