Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Turner v. Big Lake Oil Co. case brief

Turner v. Big Lake Oil Co. case brief summary
96 S.W.2d 221 (1936)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff landowners filed suit seeking to hold defendant oil company liable for the damage caused by the escape of water from its property. The matter was tried before a jury, which returned a verdict in favor of the oil company. The Court of Civil Appeals for the Eighth District (Texas) affirmed. The landowners appealed.

CASE FACTS
The oil company constructed large, artificial earthen ponds to store polluted water that was generated by its oil wells. On one occasion, water escaped from the ponds. It flowed onto the landowners' property and into the water sources the landowners used to water their livestock. The landowners filed suit to recover damages for the harm caused to their property. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the oil company, concluding that the release of the water was not the result of negligence by the oil company.

ARGUMENT
The landowners argued on appeal that the oil company was strictly liable for the release.

HOLDING
The court disagreed, holding that the landowners were required to demonstrate negligence by the oil company in order to recover damages for the harm caused to their property.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the decision of the appellate court.

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