Tort means a civil wrong. In the given case, firstly, it is to be noted that mining is an underground activity. John is incorrect in claiming that he did not trespass Dana’s land, since while mining in his own property he went beyond the border beneath the surface of the earth thus encroaching Dana’s property; and, vide the maxim “cuius est solem, eius est usque ad coelum et ad infernos” meaning that whoever owns the land, owns it all the way to the heavens and to hell. John further claims to have unintentionally mined in Dana’s property and hence has not trespassed her land. However as per the rule of Strict or Absolute Liability, the defendant is liable even though the harm to the plaintiff occurred without the defendant’s intention or due to his negligence.
In the case Crutcher v. Harrod Concrete and Stone Co, Crutcher owned 36-acres unimproved land in Franklin County beside which, Harrod owned 500 acres of land, operated as an underground limestone quarry. In the course of mining, Harrod learned that it may have trespassed on Crutcher’s property and removed 164,000 tons of shot rock from beneath his land. On informing Crutcher about it, Crutcher filed a complaint in the Court alleging that Harrod had encroached on his property and if Harrod had taken the necessary measures to know the boundaries of his property well, the resulting trespass and injury would not have occurred.
In the given case, the court should rule for John to pay damages to Dana for trespassing on her property and also pay the value of the zinc extracted from her mine at the appropriate value.
Find Law. Web. 25th March, 2014 < http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ky-court-of-appeals/1626205 >