West Law Report

Public nuisance claim

Posted in Environmental law, Public nuisance, Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on May 30, 2008

From The TimesMay 28, 2008

Public nuisance claim
Corby Group Litigation v Corby Borough Council in the Court of Appeal
Court of Appeal

Published May 28, 2008

Corby Group Litigation v Corby Borough Council

The House of Lords had neither expressly nor impliedly reversed the long-standing principle that damages for personal injury could be claimed in the tort of public nuisance.

The Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice Dyson and Lady Justice Smith) so held when on May 8, 2008, dismissing an appeal by Corby Borough Council from the dismissal by Master Leslie, on June 25, 2007, of its interlocutory application to strike out a claim in public nuisance brought by 18 claimants, born with upper limb deformities.

They claimed, inter alia, damages for personal injury said to be referable to their mothers’ exposure to toxic materials during pregnancy, in the course of reclamation and decontamination of land in Corby.

LORD JUSTICE DYSON said the defendant had asserted that in light of dicta from the House of Lords in Hunter v Canary Wharf Ltd (The Times April 25, 1997; [1997] AC 655) and Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (The Times November 20, 2003; [2004] 2 AC 1) a claim for damages for personal injury in public nuisance no longer lay.

However, those dicta were obiter since in the neither case was the claim based on public nuisance, nor was there a claim for personal injury.