For the reasons given in the speech by my noble and learned friend,
Lord Goff of Chieveley I would allow this appeal.
LORD GOFF OF CHIEVELEY
This appeal is concerned with the question whether the appellant company. Eastern Counties Leather Plc (ECL), is liable to the respondent company. Cambridge Water Company (CWC), in damages in respect of damage suffered by reason of the contamination of water available for abstraction at CWC's borehole at Sawston Mill near Cambridge. The contamination was caused by a solvent known as Perchloroethene (PCE). used by ECL in the process of degreasing pelts at its tanning works in Sawston, about 1.3 miles away from CWC's borehole, the PCE having seeped into the ground beneath ECL's works and thence having been conveyed in percolating water in the direction of the borehole. CWC's claim against ECL was based on three alternative grounds, viz. negligence, nuisance and the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher (1868) L.R.3 H.L. 330. The …