Horsey & Rackley, Casebook on Tort Law 16e Student Resources

Tort law cases often make the news headlines. The purpose of the web links provided here is to fill you in on some of the background to the cases and, occasionally, statutes that you are studying. They include a mixture of video and audio clips, newspaper reports, blog posts, Government reports, case reports and so on. We've also taken the opportunity to include 'updates' where the law has changed or developed since the publication of the book.

In our experience it is often easier to remember the facts or decision of a particular case when you know a bit more about its background - when you can, for example, visualise the parties involved, or picture the accident or event that lead to the claim. We also believe that awareness of the context of a particular case or the passage of a statute can often help students understand – and begin to question – why the decision was reached, or why the introduction of legislation was felt necessary. Our view is that it is important that you experience – and engage with – tort law as a dynamic and fluid process, as a body of progressive rather than static, ahistorical rules. We hope that the links provided here (as well as other things you may link to from them) will help you do this and that they will give you a sense of historical perspective and an insight into the role of the context and history in the development of legal doctrine.

We've done our best to ensure that the links are as extensive as possible but the links are (obviously) not exhaustive. We urge you to make keep an eye on developments both in tort and other areas of law by reading good legal blogs as well as the law pages of quality newspapers online.

Of course, we also know that on occasions (particularly when a deadline is pressing) these sort of additional materials (as well as the others included on our online resources) can prove to be a bit of a distraction. These links are intended to supplement your studies. They are not an alternative to the harder work of reading the text book, academic commentary, and cases. In fact, there is no excuse for not reading the cases. Within these web links we've provided deep links on BAILLI to a selection of key cases from each chapter, and we encourage you to put your background reading, watching, and surfing to good use by reading these in full so that you gain a deeper understanding of the issues they raise.

While the legal action under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher seems largely obsolete, that is not to say that disasters of the nature of that which happened in Rylands do not still happen. 2006 saw the 40th anniversary of one such disaster, at Aberfan in South Wales where, on 20 October 1966, a land slide from a coal spoil heap destroyed a primary school and over 20 houses, killing over 130 people, mostly children. There are many video clips on the Internet relating both to the original disaster, its legal consequences and, more recently, to the 40th anniversary remembrance services.

Disaster at Aberfan

See the Wikipedia page for general info (with the usual caveats about accuracy, etc.):

An ‘Aberfan disaster documentary’ on YouTube:

An account of Aberfan, from June Legg, who was a nurse working at the time of the

The 50-year anniversary of the Aberfan tragedy was recognised in October 2016. Poet Owen Sheers went back to the pit village and, using the people’s own memories, created a ‘film poem’ to commemorate the disaster (‘Green Hollow’). His account of his return to Aberfan and extracts from the film poem can be seen at:

‘Aberfan 50 years on: how best to remember the tragedy?’

Also see ‘Aberfan: The mistake that cost a village its children’ BBC Online – a timeline of how the disaster unfolded, again produced to mark the 50th anniversary:

Rylands by fire?

The Stannard case (link below) examining this area looked at in what, if any, circumstances liability for damage caused by fire would arise under Rylands principles. Here, lawyers who appeared for the appellant discuss the Court of Appeal’s decision:
‘Court of Appeal judgment on Rylands v Fletcher strict liability for the escape of fire’

See also ‘Can there be Rylands v Fletcher liability for fire damage to a neighbouring property?’

And ‘Fire escape’, where Jonathan Fowles reviews, in the New Law Journal, the latest attempt to wrestle with strict liability for fire damage.

However, a recent judgment from Ireland (Feb 2015) confirms that liability for escape by fire there is strict:
Feeney -v- Andreucetti & ors [2015] IEHC 63


Rylands v Fletcher [1868]

Sedleigh-Denfield v O’Callaghan [1940]

Leakey & Ors v National Trust [1979]

Cambridge Water Co v Eastern Counties Leather plc [1994]

Delaware Mansions Limited and Others v. Lord Mayor and Citizens of The City of Westminster [2001]

Transco v Stockport MBC [2004]

D Pride & Partners (A Firm) v Institute for Animal Health [2009]

Lambert and others v Barratt Homes Ltd and another [2010]

Stannard (t/a Wyvern Tyres) v Gore [2012]