Injuria sine damno means violation of a legal right without causing any harm, loss or damage to the plaintiff.
There are two kinds of torts:
Firstly those torts are actionable per se, I.e. actionable without the proof of any damage or loss. For instance, trespass to land is actionable even though no damage has been caused as a result of the trespass.
Secondly, the torts which are actionable only on the proof of some damage caused by an act.
Injuria sine damno covers the first-mentioned aspect. In such cases, there is no need to prove that as a consequence of an act, the plaintiff has suffered any harm. For a successful action, the only thing which has to be proved is that the plaintiff’s legal right has been violated I.e. there is injuria.
Ashby v. White –
Facts: The plaintiff was a qualified voter at a Parliamentary election but the defendant, a returning office, wrongfully refuse to take the plaintiff’s vote.No loss was suffered by such refusal because the candidate for whom he wanted to vote won the election and despite that.
Judgment: It was held that the defendant was liable even if no damage was caused to the plaintiff. It is so because the legal right of the plaintiff was violated. The maxim of injuria sine damno was applied in this case.
Damnum sine injuria: It means damage caused without any legal right violation of the plaintiff. It is generally so when the exercise of legal right by one results in inconsequential harm to the other.
Case law: Action v. Blundell.
Facts: The defendant by digging a Coalpit intercepted the water with the affected plaintiff’s well, less than 20 years old, at a distance of about one mile.
Judgement: It was held that the defendant was not liable.
It was observed: The person who owns the surface, may dig therein and apply all that is there found to his purposes, at his free will and pleasure, and that if in the exercise of such rights, he intercepts or drains of the water collected from underground springs in the neighbour’s well, this inconvenience to his neighbour falls within the description damnum abseque injuria which cannot become the ground of action.
Damnum abseque injuria- In law, damnum abseque injuria (Latin for “loss or damage without injury”) is a phrase expressing the principle of tort law in which some person (natural or legal) causes damage or loss to another, but does not injure them.
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