Spano v. Perini Corp.

25 N.Y.2d 11, 302 N.Y.S.2d 527, 250 N.E.2d 31 (1969)

 

RULE:

One who engages in blasting must assume responsibility, and be liable without fault, for any injury he causes to neighboring property.

FACTS:

Plaintiff was the owner of a garage that was damaged by a blast. At the time of the blast, a car, owned by plaintiff car owner, was in the garage for repairs. Plaintiff car owner also claimed that his car was damaged by the blast. Both plaintiffs sued defendants, who were engaged in constructing a tunnel in the vicinity. Judgments were rendered in favor of plaintiffs. The judgments were reversed by the appellate term and the appellate division affirmed that order, granting leave to appeal to the court of appeals. The court of appeals reversed the lower court's judgment affirming reversal.

ISSUE:

Are defendants liable for the blast?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The concept of absolute liability in blasting cases is hardly a novel one. The overwhelming majority of American jurisdictions have adopted such a rule. This court itself, several years ago, noted that a change in our law would "conform to the more widely (indeed almost universally) approved doctrine that a blaster is absolutely liable for any damages he causes, with or without trespass". 

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