Brief of Bradford Corporation v. Pickles

Brief of Bradford Corporation v. Pickles by Legum

Bradford Corporation v Pickles [1895] AC 587

Material Facts:

Pickles owned a piece of land containing underground streams which fed the reservoirs of Bradford Corporation. When Pickles sank a shaft into his land, the act cut the supply of water to the reservoirs of Bradford Corporation and consequently caused them monetary losses. Pickles then approached Bradford Corporation and offered to sell his land to them at an exorbitant price. Bradford corporation felt that the actions of Pickles were a malicious attempt to sell his land to them at an exorbitant price.


Whether or not Bradford Corporation could successfully bring an action to restrain Pickles from interfering with the water supply?


That Pickles cannot be restrained from sinking shafts into his land even if it interferes with the water supply.

Ratio Decidendi:

The House of Lords held that the acts by the defendant constituted a lawful use of his land. That the exercise of a legal right cannot be considered unlawful. Owing to the legality of his actions, the defendant was not liable despite the harm accruing from his actions. The motives of the defendant, even if malicious, were considered irrelevant given the legality of his actions.