Nuisance

Howard Robert Roitman

Written by  Pro

Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney

Contributor Level 16

Posted over 1 year ago. 2 helpful votes

Email

Nuisance

Legally, the term “nuisance" is traditionally used in three ways:

  1. to describe an activity or condition that is harmful or annoying to others (example- indecent conduct, a rubbish heap or a smoking chimney)
  2. to describe the harm caused by the before-mentioned activity or condition (example- loud noises or objectionable odors)
  3. to describe a legal liability (responsibility) that arises from the combination of the two.

The law of nuisance was created to stop such bothersome activities or conduct when they unreasonably interfered either with the rights of other private landowners (example- private nuisance) or with the rights of the general public (example-public nuisance).

The tort of nuisance allows a claimant (formerly plaintiff) to sue for most acts that interfere with their use and enjoyment of their land. A good example of this is in the case of Jones v Powell. A brewery made stinking vapors which wafted onto a neighbor's property, damaging his papers. As he was a landowner, the neighbor sued in nuisance for this damage. But Whitelocke J, speaking for the Court of the King's Bench, said that because the water supply was contaminated, it was better that the neighbor's documents were risked. He said "it is better that they should be spoiled than that the common wealth stand in need of good liquor." Nowadays, interfering with neighbors' property is not looked upon so kindly. Nuisance deals with all kinds of things that spoil a landowner's enjoyment of his property.

A subset of nuisance is known as the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher, where a dam burst into a coal mine shaft. So a dangerous escape of some hazard, including water, fire, or animals means strict liability in nuisance. This is subject only to a remoteness cap, familiar from negligence when the event is unusual and unpredictable. This was the case where chemicals from a factory seeped through a floor into the water table, contaminating East Anglia's water reservoirs.

Free market environmentalists would like to expand tort damage claims into pollution (example-toxic torts) and environmental protection.

Additional Resources

Howard Roitman, Esq. 8921 W. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada 89117 (702) 631-5650

Nevada State Bar

Nevada State Bar

NJA

Howard Roitman

Howard Roitman

Howard Roitman

Rate this guide

Related Questions

Avvo instant logo@2x

Need an answer to your questions within 15 minutes?

  • 30-minute phone call
  • Ask any questions
  • $99 flat fee
  • Money-back guarantee
Talk to an attorney now

Can't find what you're looking for?

Ask span5@2x

Ask a question on our public forum.

Ask a lawyer
Or@2x
Instant span6@2x

Have an attorney contact you privately.

Right now.

Icon lock@2x
Secure conversation. Your details remain between you and your attorney.
Icon clock@2x
Get an answer guaranteed. Be assured that a lawyer will contact you to help with your legal issue.
Start your session now