Flooding and legal liability

November 25, 2014

William Upton has been named in the latest edition of UKELA’s e-law as one of its Star Members in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Water Working Party’s Seminar on Flooding and his accompanying paper on the topic.

The Seminar was held in association with the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

His paper on “Common law liabilities for flood damage: Flood me, Flood me not”  has been published in e-law (and is available using the link below).

The paper discusses the following issues:-

• Flood damage is considered a “natural nuisance”
• Landowners owe a ‘measured duty’ in negligence and nuisance to take reasonable steps to
prevent natural occurrences on their land from causing damage to neighbouring properties
• Landowners have a right to protect their property against a common enemy (such as flooding)
but they do not have a right to pass such an enemy on to the land of a neighbour
• the common law does not operate in a vacuum, and statutory schemes must be
taken into account when considering liabilities in nuisance and negligence
• the potential liability of the regulatory bodies is limited

Click here  for a copy of the e-law article. The full copy of e-law is available through UKELA.