McKinnon Industries v Walker (1951): property of sensitive nature.

Areas of applicable law: Tort law – Private nuisance – Nuisance.

Main arguments in this case: A claim for private nuisance would succeed if the damage caused to an abnormally sensitive property would have caused similar damage to a property which was of an ordinary kind.

The fact of the case: The defendant’s factory emitted fumes and sulphur dioxide and damaged the claimant’s (who was a florist) orchids. The fumes would deposit as a film on the claimant’s greenhouse restricting the sunlight, and sulphur dioxide would further injure the plants.

The defendant argued that the orchids were of delicate nature and therefore were abnormally susceptible to damage.

The court rejected this argument as the fumes would have harmed ordinary flowers and therefore the defendant was liable for a nuisance. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *