damnum sine injuria esse potest

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[Latin: there may be damage or injury inflicted without any wrong being done]

The principle that a claimant who has suffered damage in consequence of the act of another may not be entitled to recover compensation because the defendant's act was not in law wrongful. For example, in Mayor of Bradford v Pickles [1895] AC 587 (HL) the House of Lords refused to intervene against a landowner who, annoyed by the refusal of a municipal authority to purchase his plot in connection with a water-supply scheme, intercepted underground water percolating in undefined channels through his land to an area owned by the corporation. The landowner committed no breach of the law in acting as he did so; although the municipal authority suffered damage (to their water supply) they did not suffer a wrong in law.

Subjects: Law.

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