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Leakey v National Trust [1980] 1 QB 48

By Oxbridge Law TeamUpdated 04/01/2024 07:04

Judgement for the case Leakey v National Trust

Table Of Contents

  • Defendant owned a hill below which were houses and when the hill started disintegrating earth started falling and damaging Plaintiffs’ houses.

  • Defendant was held liable in damages to Plaintiffs.

  • CA allowed Plaintiffs’ claim, saying that once Defendant had become aware or ought to have become aware of the damage being caused by their land (even though they had not caused the damage), they came under a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent it.

    • They had failed in this duty.

    • This is based on the same principle that a man whose land contains a flooding river is under a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent it harming his neighbour’s lands.

Megaw LJ

  • This duty is one in nuisance and not in negligence.

  • He was not prepare to consider the argument that this was, properly considered, a negligence claim and therefore couldn’t succeed, since it would be regrettable if “forms of action” could change a valid claim into a non-actionable one. 

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