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Wringe v Cohen

[1940] 1 KB 229

Case summary last updated at 19/01/2020 17:46 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Wringe v Cohen

D’s house was in structural disrepair and it fell, causing damage to P’s shop. P sued for negligence and nuisance. CA upheld the claim in nuisance. 
 
Atkinson J: “if, owing to want of repair, premises on a highway become dangerous and, therefore, a nuisance, and a passer-by or an adjoining owner suffers damage by their collapse, the occupier, or the owner if he has undertaken the duty of repair, is answerable whether he knew or ought to have known of the danger or not.” However “if the nuisance is created by the act of a trespasser, or by a secret and unobservable operation of nature, such as a subsidence under or near the foundations of the premises, neither an occupier nor an owner responsible for repair is answerable, unless with knowledge or means of knowledge he allows the danger to continue.”
 
NB the Corgy Group Litigation established that personal injury is compensable under public nuisance. 

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