Card Set Information

2014-03-27 08:45:27
torts nuisance
Torts II
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  1. Nuisance
    French root meaning nothing more than harm, annoyance, or inconvenience

    Courts customarily speak of "a" nuisance as if it were a type of conduct on the part of D or a condition created by D. Nuisance is really neither.

    Legally, nuisance references a field of liability rather than a particular tort and covers two types of damage or harm. Public and private.
  2. Philadelphia Electric Company v. Hercules, Inc.
    F: Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) bought property that was later found to be the source of contamination into the Delaware River. PECO was forced to eliminate the pollution at a cost of $400K. PECO sued Hercules, the successor of the property's previous owner, to recover damages and enjoin any further pollution. PECO's suit was based on theories of public and private nuisance. 

    Px: District court awarded damages and the injunction for public and private nuisance in favor of PECO. Hercules appeals. 

    Q/P 1: May a seller of real property be liable to a purchaser for private nuisance? 

    H: No, a seller of real property is not liable to a purchaser of the property for private nuisance. 

    Reasoning: D didn't interfere with PECO's use and enjoyment of the land. The principle of caveat emptor applies. PECO could have inspected the condition of the land prior to purchase. We assume the sales price reflected the toxic condition. D should be liable to neighboring land owners who couldn't inspect. 

    Q/P 2: Does a party have standing to bring a claim for public nuisance when the party suffers no particular damage in the exercise of a right common to the general public?

    H: No, a party has no standing to bring a claim for public nuisance when the party suffers no particular damage in the exercise of a right common to the general public.

    Ruling: Injunction vacated and judgment for damages reversed.
  3. Caveat Emptor
    Buyer beware - a legal theory protecting a vendor from liability arising out of the sale of real property or goods
  4. Private Nuisance
    A nontrespassory invasion of another's interest in the private use and enjoyment of land.
  5. Public Nuisance
    An unreasonable interference with a right common to the general public.
  6. Riparian
    Relating to rivers or, in some situations, bodies of water.
  7. Standing
    The right to bring an action
  8. Vendee
    The purchaser of property
  9. Vendor
    The seller of property
  10. Morgan v. High Penn Oil Co.
    Morgan owned a tract of land with a restaurant and accommodations for 32 trailers. High Penn owned an adjoining tract with an oil refinery. Morgan complained that the refinery emitted sickening gases and made ordinary people sick several times a day. High Penn didn't end its pollution after Morgan asked. 

    Px: Morgan sued to recover temporary damages and to obtain an injunction to abate the private nuisance. TRial court, found that there was a nuisance, and entered a judgment in favor of Morgan for $2,500 and enjoined High Penn from continuing. High Penn appeals, contending that the trial court was in error for disallowing High Penn's motion for a compulsory nonsuit. On appeal, High Penn argues that it was lawfully and non-negligently operating the refinery, and therefor could not be liable for nuisance. 

    Q/P: Is negligence required to establish a  cause of action for private nuisance?

    H: No. Negligence is not required to establish a cause of action for private nuisance. 

    Reasoning: High Penn is liable for intentional private nuisance per accidens and an injunction and damages are the appropriate remedy. 

    New trial ordered b/c of improper jury instructions.
  11. Abate
    To cause somthing to cease or end
  12. Compulsory Nonsuit
    A judgment which must be entered against a plaintiff who fails to prove his case
  13. Nuisance per Accidens
    A form of private nuisance which only becomes actionable by reason of its location, or by reason of the manner in which they are constructed, maintained, or operated
  14. Nuisance per se
    A form of private nuisance consisting of an act, occupation, or structure which is a nuisance at all times and under any circumstances
  15. Temporary Damages
    Damages allowed for occasional wrongs which are abatable.
  16. Carpenter v. The Double R Cattle Company, Inc.
    F: Carpenter was a homeowner in Idaho living near a cattle feedlot operated by The Double R Cattle Co. Carpenter alleged that Double R caused noxious odors, the pollution of river and ground water, insect infection, dust, and noise. 

    Px: Trial court found that the lot did not constitute a nuisance. Carpenter appealed. Court of Appeals reversed on the grounds that the trial court failed to give a jury instruction that the injured party could be compensated for the nuisance while allowing the harmful activity to continue. Idaho Supreme Court granted Double R's petition for review. 

    Q/P 1: Should the interests of the community and the utility of the conduct at issue be considered in determining the existence of a nuisance?

    H: es. The interests of the community, including the utility of the conduct should be considered in determining the existence of a nuisance.

    Reasoning: This state's economy depends heavily on the benefits of agriculture. To refuse to consider the utility of certain agricultural conduct would place an unreasonable burden on the agriculture industry. 

    Q/P 2: Should compensation be given to persons suffering from a continuing nuisance, allowing the interference to continue?

    H: No. Compensation need not be given to persons suffering from a continuing nuisance. This would allow the business to continue and compensate the injured parties, but would unreasonably burden the person causing the nuisance.

    Judgment affirmed!

    Dissent: Bistline disagreed about compensation. It may be desirable to have a serious nuisance continue b/c of utility of operation, but those impacted deserve some compensation for the invasion they suffer. The agricultural interests should pay for any nuisance caused, and that should be considered part of the external costs of operating a feedlot in Idaho.
  17. Winget v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.
    F: Winget owned a home in S.C and brought an action for damages and a permanent injunction against Winn-Dixie Stores. Winget alleged that the store constituted a nuisance b/c of its location and manner of its operation. The store attracted crowds of peope, automobiles which caused traffic and fumes and trash trucks and street sweepers at late hours. They also erected fans which blew against the trees on Winget's property, floodlights that cast a bright glare over his property, and noxious odors of paper and trash from the store invaded Winget's property. 

    Px: Winn-Dixie moved for a directed verdict. Trial court ruled there was no evidence to sustain the allegations that the store was a nuisance b/c of its location. Trial court submitted to the jury that the issue of nuisance was in the operation of the store. To prove damages, evidence was entered that the grocery store caused Winget's property to depreciate by $4,000 in value. Jury awarded $5,000 of damages to Winget but denied injunctive relief. Winn-Dixie appeals. 

    Q/P 1: Does the operation of a lawful business in a properly zoned area constitute a nuisance by reason of location?

    H: No, the operation of a lawful business in a properly zoned area does not constitute a nuisance by reason of its location. 

    Reasoning: Where every statutory requirement is met in establishing a business, locating the business in an area zoned for the business in question is not a nuisance. 

    Q/P 2: Do interferences that are not normal incidents of operating a business give rise to damages for nuisance?

    H: Yes. Interferences that are not normal incidents of operating a business may give rise to damages for nuisance. 

    Reasoning: Lawfully zoned businesses may not unreasonably interfere with the health or comfort of their neighbors.
  18. Zoning Ordinance
    a local statute that prescribes the types of activity that can occur within a certain region
  19. Boomer v. Atlantic Cement Co., Inc.
    F: Boomer, a private land owner, brought an action for damages and an injunction against Atlantic Cement Co., operators of a large cement plant that allegedly injured neighbors by emitting dirt, smoke, and vibrations. 

    Px: Trial court found that Atlantic Cement was causing a nuisance, but the court declined to impose a permanent injunction. Effect was that Atlantic could continue to pollute the environment, but Boomer could maintain successive actions for damages as long as it continued to suffer damages from Atlantic's activites. ATlantic appealed the availability of continuing actions for nuisance. 

    Q/P: Must an injunction be granted where nuisance results in substantial continuing damage?

    H: No. An injunction is not necessarily required, even where a nuisance results in substantial continuing damage. 

    Reasoning: Economic consequences of the nuisanced and of the injunction. D can only do what science and technology allows. There's no way to completely abate the problems.
  20. Inverse Condemnation
    The impairment of private property that causes the property to lose much of its value, for which compensation must be paid to the owner.