Thursday, November 29, 2012

Morgan v. High Penn Oil case brief

Morgan v. High Penn Oil (NC 1953, DK639)
  • Facts: P lived and worked on some land, starting in 1945 (dwelling house and trailer park)…∆ oil refinery opened in 1950, emitted noxious fumes and soot; sickened Ps and other nearby landowners. Ps notified Ds about problems and demanded that they stop. 
    D continued to operate. 
    TC said: Refinery was a nuisance…Box II Liability rule. NC Sup. Ct. affirmed and granted injunctive relief. 
  • Rule: Lawful conduct which is non-negligent may constitute a nuisance if it is intentional and unreasonable under the circumstances.

  • Holding: D is a nuisance per accidens and is thereby enjoined
    • Threshold test of substantiality: Does it cross the threshold to substantial harm? If so, then injunction
    • Restatement: 2 possible interpretations
      1. Ordinary person test
      2. How abnormal the use is (if everyone is doing it, probably not a nuisance)
  • Rationale:
    • D intentionally and unreasonably released gases and odors to substantially impact the air quality and negatively harm P’s ability to enjoy his private land.
    • the injunction was not unreasonable to prevent further continuing harm to the plaintiffs
    • “Intentionally…caused noxious gases and odors to escape onto the nine acres of the Ps to such a degree as to impair in a substantial manner the Ps use and enjoyment of their land.”

  • Court doesn’t consider whether the costs of shutting down D outweigh the benefits

No comments:

Post a Comment

Landmark Personal Injury Lawsuits and Their Lasting Impact

According to a Forbes article, personal injury lawsuits are civil actions brought by an injured person against the party responsible for the...