Liabilities in tort law are of several types but strict and absolute ones are one of the most important ones. When an action has occurred, it becomes difficult to understand whether a person is absolutely liable for the act or not.
Strict and absolute may sound the same and also appear near in meaning but have differences that need to be understood by students if they wish to effectively avail law assignment help.
Liability makes a person accountable even if one has not directly committed the offence. Therefore, strict and absolute liability can be said to be no fault liability.
Until now we had understood that no liability occurs in case of a hirer and the independent contractor, but now we will study how even liability can made to occur here as well.
The famous Rylands vs Fletcher case justifies the point. There were three pints that must be remembered when we talk about this case:
- The good that brings the liability must be either in excess or if it is in normal quantity then the quality should be to harm the others.
- In the above-mentioned case, although water was used, but its quantity was enough to refer to it for non-natural use.
- Imagine that you have a pet snake in your house. One day that snake escapes and bites your neighbour causing his death.
- In such a case till the time the snake was inside the premises of the house, you were not responsible but as soon as it escaped you become responsible. This is what we call the condition of escape of the object or the good.
- It is important to remember that the good must cause harm to the other person.
In all these cases, if the conditions are satisfied, the person can be held liable for strict liability. Therefore, students must keep these conditions in mind while referring to them for assignment help.
There are certain defences to this offence of strict liability:
- If both the plaintiff and the defendant have shared benefits from the good. For example, if your neighbour was using the poison of the snake to sell it in market then he cannot hold you liable for the snake biting him.
- A very popular defence is the act of God. Activities occurring due to act of God cannot make a person liable. For example if you had kept your pet snake in a glass house, but due to earthquake the glass house cracked and the snake escaped then you cannot be held liable.
- If your snake had not escaped on its own and was kept in with all due precautions, but because your friend came and deliberately caused the snake to escape then in such a case you are not to be held liable. Therefore, if escape happens due to acts of third party, then, the owner cannot be held responsible.
- Of course, a very obvious defence is the case when the plaintiff himself is the wrongdoer. For example, had your neighbour himself taken the snake, then you will not be held liable for any wrong done to him.
After strict liability comes the absolute liability and its related concepts. Students may refer to the incident of Bhopal Gas Tragedy in order to understand this concept easily and effectively avail law assignment help.
Today, the industries are using extensively hazardous products. With their use, there are immensely harmful gases that are released into the atmosphere due to which harm is posed to the normal people.
To make people accountable for these harmful accidents, the concept of absolute liability was developed so that people do not escape being held accountable for their acts of omission or commission especially while dealing with the harmful products.
It is important to remember that since absolute liability deals with escape of ultra-hazardous substances into the environment, there are no defences offered in this case, not even the ones offered in the case of strict liability.
Had defences been offered then factory owners could have easily escaped their liabilities. Imagine the degree of devastation caused by the leak of methyl isocyanate from the factory. It affected generations and generations of people who were affected by the gas. Genetic damages and co-morbidities are still evident in the generations of those affected. Had there been no absolute liability, the factory owner could have easily escaped the penalty.
Another case similar to that of Bhopal Gas tragedy was the case when Oleum Gas escaped the Shri Ram fertilizer plant in New Delhi. In this case too, the court held the owners absolutely liable. The case is popularly known as the MC Mehta vs Union of India case.
Remember that while studying both these liabilities, the conditions for occurrence of both of them is the same but the difference lies in the nature of good being talked about in the cases. Also, in case of strict liability, defences are available, no such defences are available in absolute liability.
For instance, if you own a nuclear plant and due to negligence in proper care, nuclear radiations escape the plant and affect kilometres of area nearby. This escape leads to destruction of cultivable lands, death of a few people, injuries to others, and permanent damages to them as well. In such a case, court is going to hold you absolutely liable.
Now that the points have been explained clearly, students can refer to them foe assignment help. As pretty obvious, law is a complex subject. It is all about finding loopholes in certain words of law to save your client and be excused. It requires immense practise and understanding to crack these concepts. A mere understanding would introduce you to a concept, which has been done above, but students need to delve into depths in order to explore the world fully.