Significance: In PEX International Pte Ltd v Lim Seng Chye  SGCA 82, the Singapore Court of Appeal held that foreseeability of risk of harm is not necessary to establish liability in the tort of nuisance. The Court also left open the issue of whether the rule in Rylands v Fletcher is a sub-species of nuisance and should be abolished. Regardless, similarly, foreseeability of risk of harm is not necessary to establish liability under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher.
“(a) Foreseeability of the risk of harm is not generally necessary to mount a successful action in nuisance, even where the source of the nuisance is the independent contractor of the defendant. The relevant control mechanism is the principle that any use of land that interferes with the plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of his neighbouring land must be reasonable.
(b) Foreseeability of the risk of harm is relevant only where the acts which created the nuisance were not authorised by the defendant, such as where the relevant acts originated from a trespasser. This exception is founded on the basis that the defendant needs to have “used” the land in an unreasonable manner in order to be liable in nuisance (see ). Acts of a trespasser unknown to the owner of the land cannot possibly constitute “use” by the owner of the land.
(c) Nevertheless, foreseeability of the type of harm is relevant in determining whether the claim satisfies the requirement of remoteness of damage. Causation and remoteness of damage are essential elements in supporting a claim in nuisance because the tort is only actionable on proof of damage.”
At : “we do not see any good reason to depart from the English authorities that describe the rule in Rylands v Fletcher as a sub-species of nuisance and leave the question of whether it should be subsumed entirely within the tort of nuisance to a more appropriate case. Regardless of which view to adopt on the relationship between nuisance and the rule in Rylands v Fletcher, the authorities uniformly establish that foreseeability of the risk of harm is not relevant to determining liability under the rule.”