Act of stranger

If the escape is caused by the unforeseeable act of a stranger, the defendant is not liable.

If the escape was caused by the unforseeable act of a stranger the Rylands v Fletcher rule does not apply.

In Perry v Kendricks Transport Ltd (1956) two young boys trespassed onto the defendant's land and threw a lighted match into the petrol tank of a disused bus. There was an explosion and the plaintiff was injured.

As the defendants had no control over the trespassers and they had not been negligent the Court of Appeal held that the defendants were not liable.

Parker LJ said that once the defendant proves that the escape was caused by a stranger the burden of proving negligence rests with the plaintiff.

 

 

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