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Adams v. Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co.

Michigan Court of Appeals
602 N.W.2d 215 (1999)


Facts

Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. (Cleveland-Cliffs) (defendant) owned the Empire Mine, one of the largest iron mines in the country. Empire Mine operated 24 hours a day and produced 8 million tons of iron ore annually. In doing so, the mine emitted vibrations, noise, odors and dust. Adams (plaintiff) and 54 other nearby homeowners brought suit against Cleveland-Cliffs for trespass and nuisance based on the noise, odors, and settling dust that was about four-times thicker than ordinary dust which devalued their homes. The plaintiffs testified that the noise and vibrations from the blasts caused them to suffer shock, nervousness, and sleeplessness. A jury found that three of the 55 plaintiffs were not entitled to recover under either trespass or nuisance. After being instructed by the trial judge that trespass may include airborne particles, noise, or vibrations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the 52 plaintiffs as to trespass and awarded damages. Cleveland-Cliffs appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (O’Connell, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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