Saturday, May 4, 2013

Madison v. Ducktown Sulphur, Copper & Iron Co. case brief

Madison v. Ducktown Sulphur, Copper & Iron Co. case brief
113 Tenn. 331, 83 S.W. 658 (1904)

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendant corporations sought review from the Chancery Court of Polk County (Tennessee), where a perpetual injunction was awarded prohibiting the corporations from operating, where said operations caused alleged pollution and public health concerns.

FACTS: Different corporations were accused in a series of complaints of polluting surrounding lands and creating a nuisance. Plaintiff surrounding property owners sought to enjoin the corporations from further operation of the offending plants. The lower court issued injunctive relief to the property owners, and the corporations sought review. On appeal, the court examined the providence of the lower court's injunction and weighed the various interests of the involved parties. After balancing the interests, the court opined that an injunction was not the preferred remedy for the property owners because the land use and value obtained by the corporations was much greater than any losses of the combined property owners. The court reasoned that therefore, monetary damages reparation was the proper remedy for each complainant. The court remanded the cases and indicated that the various complaints should be separated so that reparations and damages could be separately assessed.

CONCLUSION: The court found that the injunctions were issued in error and remanded the case for further proceedings as to damages.

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