Thursday, November 29, 2012

Estancias Dallas Corp v. Schultz case brief

 Estancias Dallas Corp v. Schultz (TX 1973, DK646)
  • Facts: homeowners brought suit against apartment complex for noise nuisance: massive air conditioning unit for the 115-unit apartment complex. Ps had suffered $10k damages up to date of trial. Before granting injunction in Texas, the courts have to balance the equalities (is the benefit of relief to P greater than negative effect of relief to D). 
  • Rule: Even though a jury finds facts constituting a nuisance, court must balance the equities to determine if an injunction should be granted.

  • Holding: Property rule protection for neighbors (fairness)
    • landowners were entitled to injunction against operation of air-conditioning equipment despite failure of jury to give affirmative answer to proximate cause issues related to damages.
    • there is no major public benefit at stake, but the sharp decrease in property values after installation of the air conditioning unit indicates the nuisance level
    • better justification: were real harms suffered by Schultzes that were difficult to monetize (public values at stake?)…intangible harms?
    • it is not possible for Schultzes to buy out the apartment complex to arrive at “dollars and cents” efficient solution

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