Gulf Oil: villagers entitled to claim compensation

"Wherever private undertakers seek statutory authority to construct and operate an installation which may cause damage to people living in the neighbourhood, it should not be assumed that Parliament intended that damage should be done to innocent people without redress."

This important principle was put forward by Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, at an appeal by residents of Milford Haven against a High Court ruling in favour of Gulf Oil. In May last year, a High Court judge had ruled that the company could rely on the 1965 Gulf Oil Refining Act and was not liable for nuisance unless this resulted from negligence by the company. Over 50 actions had been brought by local residents claiming damages and seeking

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