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Malone v Laskey – 1907

Legal Case Summary

Malone v Laskey [1907] 2 KN 141

Tort Law – Interest – Standing – Nuisance


The people involved in the case lived in a house owned by the husband’s employer, where the husband was a tenant and the wife had a license to reside. While using the bathroom, the cistern was dislodged by vibrations from the neighbor’s electricity generator, falling on the wife and causing injuries. She filed a lawsuit against the neighbor for nuisance. It was argued that the claimants were not able to bring the suit because nuisance requires the claimants to have a stake or ownership in the land affected by the nuisance.


The legal question in this case is whether the claimants, who do not own the property but only have a license to reside there, can claim in nuisance against their neighbor for the injuries caused by the vibrations from the neighbor’s electricity generator. The issue is whether having a license to live in the property is enough to establish an “interest” in the land, which is necessary to bring a suit for nuisance. Additionally, it is being considered whether the claimants have a proper legal cause of action to sue for nuisance, and whether a mere licensee can bring such a suit.


The individual’s claim for nuisance was unsuccessful because neither the husband, who was only a tenant of the property, nor the claimant herself, who was only a licensee, had an interest in the land affected by the alleged nuisance and therefore did not have a valid cause of action. It was determined that a person without an interest in property or the right to occupy it cannot bring a lawsuit for nuisance. Thus, the claim failed and the individual had no legal grounds to pursue the matter.

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Answering problem questions in the University of London LLB programme requires a clear understanding of legal principles, good analytical skills and the ability to apply the law to a given set of facts. Here are some tips to help you answer problem questions effectively:

  1. Read the question carefully: Make sure you understand what the question is asking before you begin writing.
  2. Identify the legal issues: Identify the legal issues raised by the facts and the relevant laws that apply to those issues.
  3. Analyze the facts: Analyze the facts presented in the question, focusing on the details that are relevant to the legal issues.
  4. Apply the law: Apply the relevant laws to the facts, making sure to consider all relevant legal principles and cases.
  5. Structure your answer: Use a clear and well-structured approach, starting with an introduction that outlines the main legal issues, followed by a discussion of the relevant laws and a conclusion that summarizes your analysis and sets out your conclusion.
  6. Use relevant cases and statutes: Cite relevant cases and statutes to support your analysis and help illustrate the legal principles you are discussing.
  7. Be concise: Be concise and to the point, focusing on the key issues and avoiding unnecessary detail.
  8. Proofread: Proofread your answer carefully to make sure it is error-free and clear.
  9. Time management: Make sure you manage your time effectively, leaving enough time to review your answer and make any necessary corrections.

By following these tips, you should be able to answer problem questions in the University of London LLB programme effectively and with confidence. Good luck!

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