Under the law of nuisance, where the use of land results in physical damage to the claimant’s property, even a one-off event of a relatively short duration may amount to nuisance.
Claimant: River barge owners
Defendant: Kimbolton Fireworks Ltd
Facts: A firework display took place on the River Thames to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The claimants owned two barges permanently moored near the location of the display, during the display a wedding party was aboard one of the barges. Failing firework debris caused a small fire aboard one of the barges.
Outcome: Liable in negligence
Legal principle: Whilst the outcome was a successful claim in negligence, within the judgment it was commented ‘in my opinion, the holding of a firework display in a situation where it is inevitable that for 15-20 minutes debris, some of it hot and burning, will fall upon nearby property of a potentially flammable nature creates a nuisance actionable at the suit of a property owner who suffers damage as a result.’
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