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 Liability will be imposed upon the landowner in spite of the engagement of an independent contractor if the work to be done constitutes a nuisance per se. The phrase 'nuisance per se,' although used with some frequency in the reported cases, is difficult of definition. In McAndrews v. Collerd, 42 N.J.L. 189 (E. & A. 1880), McAndrews contracted to build a tunnel for a railroad. In the course of the work he constructed a magazine within the limits of Jersey City for the storage of explosive materials which were used in blasting the rock. An explosion occurred therein which did great damage to property in the vicinity. The Court of Errors and Appeals found liability without proof of negligence, declaring that the keeping of gunpowder, nitroglycerine or other explosive substances, in large quantities, in the vicinity of a dwelling house or place of business is a nuisance per se. Later, in Simon v. Henry, 62 N.J.L. 486 (Sup. Ct. 1898), defendants were constructing a sewer in a public street and used dynamite to blast out trap rock in making the necessary excavation. Damage resulted to a nearby factory. The activity was held not to be a ...

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