Why Rose v Miles is important
In Rose v Miles, the Court allowed a civil action against the defendant for a public nuisance.
The defendant wrongfully obstructed a public navigable creek. This blocked the plaintiff’s barges, resulting in considerable expenditure in unloading the cargo and transporting it by land.
The plaintiff brought an action for damages against the defendant in the tort of nuisance. They argued that his actions, which were a public nuisance, caused unnecessary financial expenditure to the plaintiff.
Whether a private claimant can sue for damages resulting from a public nuisance by another person.
The defendant was held liable in the tort of nuisance.
The Court concluded that the claimant had suffered special damage mainly affected by the act of the defendant. They held it is the duty of the plaintiff to prove that he has incurred a special damage over and above the rest of the community. Therefore, a community collectively cannot bring an action of claim in public nuisance.