Caporale v. C.W. Blakeslee & Sons, Inc

In Caporale v. C.W. Blakeslee & Sons, Inc., 149 Conn. 79, 175 A.2d 561 (1961), the Supreme Court of Connecticut held that pile driving activity during the construction of the Connecticut turnpike in 1958 and 1959, in close proximity to the plaintiff's business premises, warranted the application of strict liability. The Connecticut court analogized pile driving to blasting and aligned itself with those courts that imposed strict liability not only for flying debris but also for the vibrations caused by the explosive force of the blast. Carporale, 175 A.2d at 563-64. The Connecticut court noted, but declined to follow, a line of New York decisions, illustrated by Fagan v. Pathe Industries, Inc., 274 A.D. 703, 86 N.Y.S.2d 859, 863-64 (App. Div., 1st Dept. 1949), that rejected strict liability for pile driving where the damage was caused only by vibrations. The concurring justice in Caporale was of the view that pile driving is not inherently dangerous, reasoning that a pile driver is not "any more dangerous than some of the highpowered cars and gargantuan tractor-trailers that infest our roads today." Caporale, 175 A.2d at 565 (Murphy, J., concurring).