Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Golden RulesThe Origins of California Water Law in the Gold Rush$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark Kanazawa

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226258676

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226258706.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Bursting Dams and the Law of Torts

Bursting Dams and the Law of Torts

(p.241) Chapter Nine Bursting Dams and the Law of Torts
Golden Rules

Mark Kanazawa

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 9 examines another common type of water dispute: damages inflicted by collapsing dams on downstream companies. The courts quickly adopted a standard of negligence in assessing whether the damming company was liable for damages. These rulings may be interpreted as responses to high transaction cost situations in which damming companies possess private information that downstream companies are not privy to. A second consistent pattern of holdings was that the courts applied lower standards of negligence in instances when the damming company was present first, a kind of first-possession rule as applied to dam failures. Applying the first possession rule in this way may have reflected conditions of bilateral precaution where it is less costly for downstream companies to stay away than to take precautions once present. It may also have reflected a “coming to the nuisance” situation, when it would be efficient to reduce tort liability when the damming company provided relatively large societal rents.

Keywords:   dam failures, transaction costs, bilateral precaution, coming to the nuisance

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.