Columbia River Fishermen’s Protective Union v. City of St. Helens
Oregon Supreme Court
87 P.2d 195 (1939)
The Columbia Fishermen’s Protective Union (the fishermen) (plaintiff) was a group of fishermen that fished in waters downstream from where the city of St. Helens (the city) (defendant) discharged sewage, chemicals, and waste matter. The waters into which the city dumped its sewage were home to large populations of salmon, and the fishing industry in that area had grown in scope and value over many years. The fishermen claimed that the sewage released by the city damaged or destroyed the water and the fishermen’s nets, as well as the wildlife within the water, resulting in a decreased salmon population. The fishermen sued the city and requested an injunction, claiming that the injury to their property and livelihood was significant and irreparable. The city filed a demurrer, claiming that the fishermen were not authorized to maintain the action. The county circuit court dismissed the action, and the fishermen appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bean, J.)
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