Every owner of land, has the right to have it supported in its natural state by the adjoining land or by artificial supports supplied in place thereof.
93. See Blackstone's Com.
It is a natural right that land owned by one person should not have the support of the adjoining land withdrawn, unless some substitute support is put in its stead. But this right applies only to land in its natural state. A, cannot place the burden on B, of the support of the buildings erected on A's lands. It may be said therefore that buildings on a person's lands must have their own sufficient foundations. In Transportation Co. v. Chicago,94 the court said: "The general rule may be admitted that every land owner has a right to have his land preserved unbroken, and that an adjoining owner excavating on his own land is subject to this restriction that he must not remove the earth so near to the land of his neighbor that his neighbor's soil will crumble away under its own weight and fall upon his land. But this right of lateral support extends only to the soil in its natural condition. It does not protect whatever is placed upon the soil increasing the downward and lateral pressure. If it did, it would put it within the power of a lot owner, by erecting heavy buildings on his lot, to greatly abridge the right of his neighbor to use his lot."
An owner who excavates his land, must take reasonable care not to cause damages to the adjoining land or buildings thereon and must notify the neighbor of his intention to excavate.
It follows from the last section that an owner may excavate his land without any liability unless he take from the adjoining land its support in its natural condition. However, this does not mean that he can cause damage to the neighboring buildings that might have been reasonably
94. 99 U. S. 635 at p. 645.
avoided. City of Quincy v. Jones, 76 111. 231. For this reason it is held that he must use due care in making such excavations, and must give notice of his intentions so that the owner of the adjoining building may take such precautions as are necessary.95
95. Davis v. Summerfield, 131 N. C. 352.