Defendant, under a contract with the federal government to dredge the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, deposited the effluent material dredged from the canal upon a disposal area owned by the government. The work was carried on under government supervision, and neither the government inspectors nor defendant's employees knew, nor apparently could they have known, of any defect in the retaining wall which had previously been built by the government to hold back the material. Defendant had had nothing to do with prior dredging operations, by which the level of fixed earth behind the retaining wall had been raised considerably. After the close of work on January 14, 1936, a portion of the retaining wall gave way, emptying earth and other material into a creek which separated the government property from plaintiff's land. This prevented plaintiff's access to his property by boat, and prevented the efficient operation of a weir maintained by plaintiff to let water into and out of a pond in which plaintiff raised carp for the market. Plaintiff claimed the aid of the principle of liability without fault. Held, that the defendant did not "occupy," in the sense of possession taken for the purpose of exercising control of the land, and that the doctrine of liability without fault therefore did not apply. Toy v. Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co., (Md. 1939) 4 A. (2d) 757.
Charles F. Dugan,
TORTS - LIABILITY WITHOUT FAULT - RYLANDS v. FLETCHER - NECESSITY FOR CONTROL OF PREMISES,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol38/iss2/31