beach whale explosion abnormally dangerous activity

Strict Liability: Abnormally Dangerous Activities

If you engage in abnormally dangerous activities, you’re strictly liable for any foreseeable harm they cause.

How do you know if an activity is abnormally dangerous?

  • Nature of the risks. The bigger and more probable the risks of physical harm are despite reasonable safeguards, the more likely the activity is abnormally dangerous.
  • Nature of the activity. And the more uncommon the activity, the lower its community value, and the more inappropriate its location, the more likely it’s abnormally dangerous.

Want a good example of an abnormally dangerous activity? How about exploding a beached whale with 20 cases of dynamite?

Yes, that has actually happened at least once, on the coast of Oregon. And it was caught on video, which you can now watch in full, digitally remastered “4K” glory.

By the way, assumption of risk can negate strict liability if the injured party understood and voluntarily accepted the risks. Perhaps by standing on the beach to watch the exploding whale, the spectators assumed the risks of raining blubber.

Oregon's Exploding Whale - 1970 KATU (4K remaster)

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