Questions 1 Are these cases examples of strict liability (liability without fault)? 2 What if the boy had been injured by a tree on the defendant’s land falling on him? 3 Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 an occupier owes a ‘common duty of care’ to visitors on his property; why should someone off the premises be owed a higher duty? Does Mint impose a higher duty? Does it impose a higher duty than s 4 of the 1972 Act? Does the difference mean that compensation can be made to depend upon where a plaintiff was standing when the injury occurred? 4 To what extent is the tort of public nuisance a form of action expressing a principle similar to Art 1384 of the Code civil? 5 Is the tort of public nuisance conceptually quite different from the tort of private nuisance? Are they, for example, quite separate causes of action? 6 Does Denning LJ use reasoning by analogy? 7 Why should a victim’s action for damages against an owner of defective property be dependent upon the nature of the contract between the owner of the property and his tenant? 8 What if a wall collapses onto the highway and blocks it off for several days with the result that some nearby shops suffer financial loss? Will the shop owners be able to sue the occupier and/or the landlord of the defective premises for these losses? 9 Will an occupier be liable for a public nuisance created by his independent contractor hired, say, to build a garage on the occupier’s land or to fell a tree? (Cf Rowe v Herman [1997] 1 WLR 1390.)
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Esso Petroleum Ltd v Southport Corporation [1953] 3 WLR 773 Queen’s Bench Division; [1954] 2 QB 182 Court of Appeal; [1956] AC 218 House of Lords

(Seep 216.)

Wheeler v JJ Saunders Ltd [1996] Ch 19 Court of Appeal

Staughton LJ: Dr Wheeler is a veterinary surgeon specialising in pigs. He and his wife own Kingdown Farm House near Priddy on the Mendip Plateau. The farm is currently let to JJ Saunders Ltd, the first defendant. The action is brought first upon a complaint that JJ Saunders Ltd had obstructed a right of way to the house over land of the farm; secondly, in respect of various activities on the farm which are said to constitute a nuisance…

In an action in the Chancery Division which was transferred to Bristol District Registry Dr and Mrs Wheeler complained of 10 different grounds of wrongdoing by JJ Saunders Ltd and/or Kingdown Farm Ltd (whom I shall together call the defendants). The action was tried by Judge Weeks QC at Bristol, and he gave judgment on 24 July 1992. Six of the claims made by Dr and Mrs Wheeler were dismissed. On the other four, they were awarded

damages totalling £2,820, and in three cases an injunction. The defendants appeal against the judge’s decision in respect of two of the claims. They raise interesting and difficult points of law.