Nuisance

Legal questions about landlord liability when one tenant harasses another

Is a landlord liable for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment if one tenant harasses another and the landlord does not intervene in some way, either by trying to resolve the dispute or by evicting the harassing tenant? To answer this question we must distinguish two types of legal claims. In the first type of claim, the victim of the harassment claims “constructive eviction” and asks to be relieved of her rental obligations by moving out before the end of the term. In the second type of claim, the tenant sues the landlord for monetary damages for failing to protect her...

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"Massachusetts rule" reaffirmed: no liability if an overhanging tree damages neighboring property

A Massachusetts court has reaffirmed the "Massachusetts rule" that "an individual whose property is damaged by an overhanging tree has no cause of action against a landowner of the property upon which the tree lies." Shiel v. Rowell, 2017 WL 3616892 (Mass. App. Div. 2017), citing Ponte v. DaSilva, 446 N.E.2d 77 (Mass. 1983). The court noted the contrary "Hawaii rule" that does make a tree owner financially responsible if her own trees overhangs neighboring property and damages it.

No right to be protected from aesthetic nuisance (solar panels)

Courts traditionally refuse to recognize aesthetic nuisances. The mere objection to the appearance of structures on neighboring property is insufficient to constitute a substantial and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of land. Although some courts in recent years have recognized the possibility of an aesthetic nuisance, the Vermont Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the traditional rule when owners complained of ugly solar panels on neighboring property owned by companies that used the land to construct solar arrays. ... Read more about No right to be protected from aesthetic nuisance (solar panels)

Cell tower on neighboring property is not an aesthetic nuisance

In Laubenstein v. Bode Tower, LLC, 392 P.3d 706, 2016 OK 118 (Okla. 2016), the Oklahoma Supreme Court refused to recognize a cell tower on neighboring property as a nuisance. The neighboring owner complained both about the tower's appearance as well as the flashing warning lights installed for safety purposes which reflected in the water on his property. The court based its ruling partly on... Read more about Cell tower on neighboring property is not an aesthetic nuisance

High-rise apartment building held to be a private nuisance

In 1922, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the power of municipalities to enact zoning laws that limit land to residential use and even to single-family homes. Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926). The Euclid decision suggested that apartment buildings might constitute nuisances and destroy the “residential character” of a neighborhood. Id. at 394–395. Is that a legitimate way to characterize apartment buildings and/or the people who live in them? In the 2014 case of...

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Private owner may not sue for public nuisance without proof of special injury

The North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the traditional rule (rejected now by some courts) that a private owner cannot sue for a public nuisance unless the owner can show special damage to the owner's property that is different in scope or character to that suffered by the general public. Hale v. Ward County, 848 N.W.23 245 (N.D. 2014).

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Odors do not constitute a trespass

The South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the traditional distinction between nuisance and trespass law by holding that invasion by microscopic particles does not constitute a trespass. Owners located near a landfill needed to make a nuisance claim and prove unreasonableness rather that merely asserting a claim for a physical invasion. Babb v. Lee County Landfill SC, LLC, 747 S.E.2d 468 (S.C. 2013). Some courts have altered the...

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Nuisance claim against nuclear weapons plant proceeds

The Tenth Circuit is allowing a nuisance claim to proceed against a nuclear power plant, finding it not to be preempted by the Price-Anderson Act, 42 U.S.C. §2014, a federal regulatory statute. Cook v. Rockwell Intl Corp., 2015 WL 3853593 (10th Cir. 2015). Property owners claimed damage from the nuclear weapons manufacturing plant causes by releases of plutonium and other hazardous substances from the plant.

Court finds sriracha hot sauce plant to be a nuisance

The city of Irwindale in the Los Angeles area brought suit to shut down a plant that manufacturers hot sauce made from sriracha chilis.  Neighbors complained that the hot sauce manufacturer  caused them great discomfort from the odors of the plant, that they suffered from headaches, and that the plant made their eyes water and their throats burn. read article  On the other hand some residents suffered no ill effects while others found the effects fleeting and...

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