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Abnormally Dangerous Substances or Activities

Abnormally Dangerous Substances Or Activities

Stemming from all the way back into the late 19th century, strict liability concerning dangerous substances such as toxic wastes has been a growing issue and area of practice. Instances concerning these usually involve those in which commonly-held hazardous materials are maintained in equally dangerous areas.

It would be different, for instance, if explosives were stored in a city as opposed to a more isolated rural area. If an explosion were to take place in the rural region, strict liability would not be imposed on the the explosives itself, but instead on the way in which they may have been stored incorrectly. In addition to explosives, the following are examples of dangerous substances: sewage accumulation, flammable liquids, and toxic fumes.

In terms of the plaintiff filing suit against the defendant in reference to their use of dangerous substances, such as toxic wastes, the former must make sure of three qualifications to provide an adequate case against the latter. These include: the risk of injury stemming from the failure of the defendant's safety precautions, the futility existent in the defendant's attempt to eliminate any risk of injury, and the eventual harm that has arisen from their handling of such abnormally dangerous substances.

Intent also does not present any type of defense as the court will not take into account any presence or lack thereof of intentions in connection to the incident involving liability attached to dangerous substances or activities. Examples of such dangerous activities include the following: "demolition," transportation of hazardous chemicals, inadequate disposal of toxic wastes, and "radioactive emissions." Another such dangerous activity would be the harboring of wild animals who are deemed as dangerous to society and possibly even illegal to maintain as household animals in neighborhoods.

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