In the summer of 1992, a leak developed in an underground water pipe belonging to the Stockport Borough Council. As a result, a considerable part of the embankment suddenly gave way and slid downwards, leaving a 27 meter long section of a gas main exposed and unsupported. Gas company Transco (formerly: British Gas), that was responsible for maintaining the gas pipeline, quickly reinstalled the support of the gas pipeline and repaired the embankment in order to mitigate the instant and serious risk of explosion. Transco sued the Council for the repair cost. As the cause of the water pipe rupture was never determined, the claim could not be based on negligence on the part of the Council. However, Transco claimed that the Council was liable without proof of negligence under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher.

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Zeitschrift fuer Europaeisches Privatrecht
Private Law

van Boom, W. (2005). Some Remarks on the Decline of Rylands v Fletcher and the Disparity of European Strict Liability Regimes (House of Lords 19 November 2003, [2004] 1 All ER 589 [Transco plc (formerly BG plc and BG Transco plc) v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council]). Zeitschrift fuer Europaeisches Privatrecht, 618–637. Retrieved from