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Civil Law. –“suing someone” –protecting individual rights –relationships between two individuals (Plaintiff v. Defendant) –also known as Private Law or.

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Presentation on theme: "Civil Law. –“suing someone” –protecting individual rights –relationships between two individuals (Plaintiff v. Defendant) –also known as Private Law or."— Presentation transcript:

1 Civil Law

2 –“suing someone” –protecting individual rights –relationships between two individuals (Plaintiff v. Defendant) –also known as Private Law or Common Law –decisions made by judges –based on legal principles and precedents –liability –reactive not proactive –relies on visible damages

3 Civil Law Causes of Action –nuisance –riparian rights (flowing water) –trespassing –negligence –strict liability Remedies –Injunction (requires a party to do or refrain from doing specific acts) –Sue for damages

4 Nuisance Private Nuisance –unreasonable interference with another’s use or enjoyment of property –not necessary to prove negligence –Exception: nuisance ongoing for 20 years or more without complaint

5 Nuisance Public Nuisance –unreasonably affect the public’s use of public lands and waters –obstruct the access of occupants of neighbouring lands to the public land –interfere with the people’s access to premises adjacent to public land

6 Nuisance Cases –Halsey v. Esso (ACID SMUTS) plaintiff is the owner and occupier of a small house in a residential area. defendants owned and occupied an oil storage and issuing depot which adjoined the street, on the river bank; there was there a strip of industrial development, and the defendants' were not the only premises where oil was dealt with. In the depot, opposite the plaintiff's house, was a boiler house containing two steam boilers with metal chimney stacks from which, from time to time, noxious acid smuts were emitted These emissions damaged the plaintiff's washing hung out to dry, and also damaged the paintwork of his car standing in the street outside his house. Court Ruling: the defendants were liable in nuisance for damage done to the plaintiff's washing by acid smuts emitted from their chimneys; they were also liable for the damage to his motor- car as for a public nuisance

7 Walker v. McKinnon (GREENHOUSE) defendant manufactured steel and iron products 600 feet from claimant’s property. claimant had his house and a commercial florist/nursery. he specialized in growing orchids which are known for their particular sensitivity. The claimant brought an action in relation to noxious fumes and smuts which had deposited over his shrubs, trees, hedges and flowers causing them to die. Court Ruling: The defendant’s actions constituted an unlawful nuisance and therefore the claimant was entitled to recover damages in respect of the orchids despite the sensitive nature of the flowers. Nuisance Cases

8 Riparian Rights –Owning property adjacent to water entitles you to have continued flow of water in its natural quantity and quality. –each owner is allowed to make reasonable use –need not prove actual damages –irrelevant who was there first –must demonstrate that the activity is likely to continue and to cause further alteration of water the water has been made less suitable for some purpose there is a causal connection between the alteration and the defendant’s activities

9 Riparian Rights Case McKie v. KVP Co Ltd (MILL and RESORT) paper mill polluting river, smell and taste offensive affecting resort owners downstream irrelevant that others are polluting as well Court Ruling: McKie won case at local, Ontario, Supreme Court levels They secured a judgment in damages and an injunction restraining the defendant from depositing foreign substances in the river

10 Trespassing –Intrusion of people or objects onto or over one’s land without consent of owner or occupant –air space to height to permit enjoyable use of property –removing or adding soil or trees –notices or fences not required –compensation and legal fees included –is PROPERTY only and not enjoyment of that property (which is nuisance) –relates to environment through deposit of ash, soot, etc. that comes on the land that is a direct harm and not consequential harm from the action

11 Trespassing Case Kerr v. Revelstoke Building Materials (MOTEL v. Lumber Company) Kerr opens a hotel in 1951 Revelstoke opens a lumber company in 1958 Planning mill, teepee, saw mill and chipper all added by 1971 (sawmill within 800 ft. of hotel door) smoke, ash, etc forced hotel to close Court Ruling: The evidence establishes that their premises were invaded from time to time by smoke, sawdust, fly ash and objectionable sounds. The physical invasion of their premises by sawdust and fly ash was so severe on occasion that it interfered with their use and enjoyment of their property. Actual samples of fly ash were collected and placed in vials by the plaintiff, James Runciman Kerr, and were entered in evidence as exhibits”. "Every invasion of property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass”: Revelstoke had to pay $30,000 in damages

12 Negligence –conduct that falls below the standard regarded as normal or reasonable in a given community –most significant addition to common law this century –regulates inadvertent conduct –must take reasonable care to prevent harming someone –“duty of care” is what defendant owes plaintiff –plaintiff must prove defendant knew harm could happen and who it might harm

13 Elements of Negligence Action –duty of care –standard of care and its breach –causation –remoteness of damage –actual loss –prejudicial conduct

14 Negligence Cases Donaghue v. Stevenson (SNAIL and BEER) first case of negligence (1932) August 26, 1928 Donoghue and a friend at a café in Glasgow. Donoghue's companion ordered and paid for a bottle of ginger beer for Donoghue. The ginger beer was in an opaque bottle. Donoghue drank some of the contents and her friend lifted the bottle to pour the remainder of the ginger beer into the glass. The remains of a snail in a state of decomposition dropped out of the bottle into the tumbler. Donoghue later complained of stomach pain and her doctor diagnosed her as having gastroenteritis and being in a state of severe shock. Donoghue sued Stevenson, the manufacturer of the drink, for negligence. plaintiff died before House of Lords decided case Overall, they find that in cases like this where the manufacturers are manufacturing goods for the eventual consumption of consumers, they have a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that their products are safe for consumption.

15 Strict Liability –When something that is an abnormal use of property escapes, no matter care given to contain it, you are responsible for damages –abnormal use of land for defendant’s own purposes –mere existence creates a risk of harm –escape occurs –damage was consequence of escape

16 Strict Liability Defences: –statutory authority –an act of God –sabotage –plaintiff’s consent –common benefit –default of the plaintiff

17 Strict Liability Cases Rylands v. Fletcher (WATER and MINE SHAFT) needs water for mill - builds a reservoir reservoir escapes and fills neighbouring mine shaft not negligent because hired professionals (THEY were negligent) not trespass because unintentional and not negligent not riparian rights not nuisance because defendant had to have known damage was possible SO, creation of a new cause of action Gertsen v. Metro Toronto (WASTE LEAK) leak of putrescible waste (Methane gas) into garage explosion when starts car in garage

18 Erin Brockovich Based on what you have learned about civil cases, What type of civil case is Hinkley v. PG&E? Why?

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