Saturday, May 4, 2013

Georgia v. Tennessee Copper Co. case brief

Georgia v. Tennessee Copper Co. case brief
206 U.S. 230 (1907)

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff, the State of Georgia, filed a bill in equity seeking to enjoin defendant copper companies from discharging noxious gases from their works in a neighboring state over Georgia's territory.

FACTS: The State filed a bill alleging that in consequence of a discharge of noxious gases by the companies a wholesale destruction of forests, orchards, and crops was going on, and other injuries were done and threatened in five of its counties. The State filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, which was denied. Without objection, the case was tried on affidavits. The Court found that, although the State actually owned very little of the land affected, the State's case was brought in its capacity as a quasi-sovereign. The State had an interest behind the titles of its citizens and had the last word as to whether its lands would be damaged in such a manner. The Court found that when the states by their union made the forcible abatement of outside nuisances impossible to each, they did not thereby agree to submit to whatever might be done and they were still able to file suit in the Court. The evidence as to the pollution of the air and the magnitude of that pollution caused by the companies was not open to dispute and the State had the right to prevent the pollution. The Court rejected the argument that the State was guilty of laches because diligence was shown.

CONCLUSION: The Court entered an order issuing an injunction.

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