Robinson v Kilvert (1889): Claim of a nuisance and sensitivity.

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

Main arguments in this case: A defendant is not liable for damage for nuisance if the damage is due to the property being too sensitive.

The fact of the case: The defendant and the claimant were living in the same building occupying the basement and the first floor respectively. The defendant was in the business of making paper boxes which he did in the cellar while the claimant stored brown paper in his part of the building. Due to the nature of defendant’s business, it needed a dry and hot environment which in turn made the defendant’s floor too hot. As a consequence, the heat caused damage to the brown paper and lose their value.  The claimant brought an action in nuisance.

The court found that the claimant’s  paper was abnormally sensitive and if it was an ordinary paper, the heat would not have caused any problem. Hence the defendant was not liable for nuisance.

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