Main Content

Casebook Read
Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Sullivan v. Dunham

Even if the dangerous activity in question is not illegal, should courts be allowed to find the actor "strictly liable" for any harm flowing from his or her activity? Defendants were excavating a tree through the use of dynamite. After being blasted more than four hundred feet, through the air, a section of tree fell on the plaintiff and killed her. The plaintiff was traveling lawfully on a public highway at the time of the impact. There was no evidence of negligence or lack of skill on the part of the defendant, in dynamiting the tree. No law prohibited the defendant's use of dynamite.