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Common law rule, and I know it is a WVa case, but it is the rule applied all over and one that is cited in all of the property law text books, is that removal of lateral/subjacent support results in strict liability in the remover.
- Noone v. Price 171 W.Va. 185, 188, 298 S.E.2d 218, 221 (1982) : Where Price did not maintain the retaining wall on Price’s property, damage to Noone’s house up the hill; Held: if Noones can show that disrepair of the retaining wall would have led ineluctably to subsidence of their land in its natural condition, can recover on strict liability.
o (Obligation is not to leave the land alone but to not interrupt support that was already there).
o Does not matter which of two houses built first, duty is to preserve soil in natural state
o Analogous to many torts = have to pay for harm caused, even if the harm is not directly tied to what was done wrong.
o In removing land, there is a requirement to act reasonably (if RHH digs next to Sears Tower and it falls over, would be liable for negligence even if preserving land in natural state
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