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Facts[]

Erie Tobacco Company was a manufacturer of plug tobacco in the town near Appleby's place of business. In the process of the manufacture of tobacco the plant produces odours which are described variously as "sickening", "very, very offensive" and "nauseating" (at in at least one case as "just splendid"). Appleby brought suit against the company for nuisance. The case was dismissed at the lower court and he appealed. The Company ensured the Court that they were taking all possible measures to prevent the harm and smell, and they could not do anything more.

Issue[]

  1. Does this constitute a nuisance? Does the smell have to make others ill in order to be a nuisance?
  2. If it does, then what is the proper remedy?
  3. Does the nature of the neighbourhood matter?

Decision[]

Injunction was granted; six month stay on the order for the company to try and abate the nuisance.

Reasons[]

This is a nuisance as the tobacco production causes "material discomfort and annoyance for the ordinary purposes of life to a man's house or to his property". While the court holds that you must take into account the local standards (i.e. what constitutes a nuisance in the country may be different that in a city) still qualifies as a nuisance. An injunction is the proper remedy as no one should submit to such an inconvenience and annoyance for a small amount of money. The fact that it does not make people ill is irrelevant.

When you are living in an industrial town you do have to put up with certain inconveniences. Although, just because you live in a manufacturing area does not mean you have to put up with all manufacturing nuisances.

Ratio[]

  • A nuisance is that which causes material discomfort and annoyance for the ordinary purposes of life to a man's house or to his property.
  • The standard of what constitutes a nuisance is arbitrary and is unique to each particular district.
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