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Flashcards in Strict Liability Deck (11)
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1

STRICT LIABILITY

Animals
1. Roaming animals
2. Wild animals
3. Domestic animal

B. Activities
Rylands v. Fletcher
Restatement 2nd & 3rd

2

Strict liability
ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK

STEP 1: Are Strict Liability Animals or
Strict Liability Activities involved?

STEP 2: Is the type of harm w/in the
INHERENT RISK posed by the
animal or activity?

STEP 3: Is there CAUSATION?

STEP 4: Does D have any DEFENSES?

3

ROAMING ANIMALS

In general keepers of roaming
animals are strictly liable for
harms that their animals cause

Exceptions:
Dogs & Cats
Livestock straying from highways
Statutory reforms

4

Wild v. Domestic Animals

Inherent nature of species (untamable v. tamable)
in services to humans in locale (customarily kept or not)

5

DOMESTIC ANIMALS

Keepers of domestic animals
ordinarily not subject to S/L

Unless keeper knew or had reason to know of a dangerous propensity

Unless statutory exception applies

6

strict liability activities

Rylands v. Fletcher (English rules)

Abnormally Dangerous Activities RS (2nd) Torts (majority)

7

Rylands v. Fletcher

House of Lords (Cairns):
Strict liability applies to “non-natural”
uses of property that cause P damage

Exchequer Chamber (Blackburn):
Strict liability applies to persons who for their own purposes bring on to their land & keep there “any thing likely to do mischief if it escapes”

Strict liability applies to “non-natural”
uses of property that cause P damage

Non-natural
Human alteration
Other than customary uses

8

Restatement 2nd Section 519

“One who carries on an abnormally dangerous activity is subject to liability for harm to the person, land or chattels of another resulting from the activity”

“Although he has exercised the utmost care to prevent the harm”

9

Factors for Determining
Abnormally Dangerous Activities

High Risk of Some Harm ( probability)
Likelihood of Great Harm ( magnitude)
Inability to Eliminate Risk w/ Reasonable Care
Uncommon Usage
Inappropriate Location
Value to Community Outweighed by
Danger of Activity

10

ABNORMALLY DANGEROUS ACTIVITIES

Dynamite blasting
Toxic chemical storage
Pile driving
Crop dusting (jurisdictional splits)
Fumigation (poisonous gas)
Rocket testing
Firework displays (jurisdictional splits)
Hazardous waste disposal
Storage of large quantities of water

11

Foster v. Preston
Mill Co.

INHERENT RISK RULE

“Strict liability should be confined to consequences which lie w/in the extraordinary risk whose existence calls for such responsibility.”