From: Gerard Sadlier <>
Date: 08/10/2015 10:09:12 UTC
Subject: High Court in Ireland Renders Significant Tort Decision

Dear Listers,

I would like to draw your attention to the recent judgment of the
Irish High Court in University College Cork v the Electricity Supply
Board. The case contains an important analysis of issues of duty of
care, nuisance, Rylands v Fletcher liability and contributory
negligence in Irish law (and considers many of the leading decisions
from other jurisdictions on these issues). Sadly, perhaps, this
analysis is in part submerged amid a mass of detailed facts.

The case concerned flooding caused to UCC's property when water was
released from hydro electric dambs operated by the ESB, during a
period of extremely heavy rain, to avoid the risk that the dambs would
be over filled and might burst.

In brief, UCC's case was that the ESB had managed its damb in breach
of duty, including statutory duty in allowing the level of water
behind its damb to reach a level where it was necessary to release
water sufficient to flood UCC, to safeguard the damb.

The trial was very lengthy and the judgment is strikingly detailed. In
brief, the Court concluded that ESB was 60% liable for the flooding
and that UCC was guilty of contributory negligence to the extent of

I may try to note some of the more salient features of the judgment in
future emails - though perhaps that would be excessive detail on a
list of this kind and the judgment will take me some time to read
fully in any event.

Kind regards