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Double J Smallwoods v Gisborne District Council (HC)

This is a claim arising from a fire that spread from council land into a timber yard.

The council was sued in nuisance, Rylands v Fletcher and negligence.  The claim was for losses of $3m.

The council escaped liability in nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher  because the fire was not started by the council.  The council was found liable in negligence but for only 26% of the claim made against it due to it successfully arguing for quantum deductions and a finding that the claimant was equally responsible for its own loss.

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