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Campbell v. Seaman

Court of Appeals of New York
63 N.Y. 568 (1876)


Facts

Landowners (plaintiffs) bought 40 acres of land in 1849 and invested a large sum of money on improvements, including a mansion, ornamental trees, flowers, and vines. The landowners’ neighbor (defendant) owned a brickyard that was not in operation at the time of the landowners’ purchase. The landowners were aware of the brickyard at the time of their purchase, but were unaware that the neighbor intended to burn bricks. The neighbor burned bricks from 1853 to 1857, used his land for agricultural purposes from 1857 to 1867, and burned bricks again in 1867. The burning released sulfuric acid gas that killed the landowners’ plants and trees. The gas did not enter the landowners’ property continuously, but only when the wind carried the gas onto the property. The landowners objected to the brick burning and then sought an injunction and damages. The court granted the injunction and damages. On appeal, the neighbor objected to the injunction on the grounds that damages were an adequate remedy, the landowners had acquiesced to the nuisance, and the neighbor had acquired a prescriptive right to burn bricks.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Earl, 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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