Cage Brothers v. McCormick

344 S.W.2d 203 (1961)

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Cage Brothers v. McCormick

Texas Court of Appeals
344 S.W.2d 203 (1961)

Facts

A group of property owners (plaintiffs) owned homes neighboring a hard limestone quarry (defendant). As evidence later showed, the quarry engaged in daily dynamite blasting for about six months. The evidence would also show that the massive explosions caused tremors and shaking. Large chunks of rocks flew outside the bounds of the quarry. The property owners’ homes, which were made of rock or brick, suffered cracks. The blasting was nearly constant, and some of the property owners complained to the quarry officials. But the quarry officials stated merely that they had a job to do and that they would address the issues later. The property owners’ expert later testified that a seismograph test could have determined whether the effects of the blasts would be too great on the surrounding properties, but such tests were never performed. The expert also testified that the cracks in the homes were caused by the blasting. The quarry offered its own expert testimony, which conflicted with that of the homeowners’ expert. The homeowners sued the quarry for the damage to their homes. The jury returned a verdict for the homeowners, concluding that the blasting operations caused property damage, and awarding damages. The quarry then moved for judgment non obstante veredicto, i.e., judgment notwithstanding the verdict, arguing that there had been no evidence introduced that the quarry was negligent. The trial court denied the motion. The quarry appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Murray, C.J.)

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