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Evans v. Merriweather

Supreme Court of Illinois
4 Ill. 492 (1842)


Facts

Merriweather (plaintiff) and John Evans (defendant) owned adjoining properties that shared a stream. Merriweather’s property was located downstream from Evans’s property. Each property contained a steam mill and a well. Each steam mill depended upon the stream and a well to run the mill’s engine. Following a drought, the stream was insufficient to provide enough water to operate Evans’s mill. In order continue the mill’s operation, Evans’s laborer created a dam that diverted all the stream water to Evans’s well. As a result of the diversion, the portion of the stream that ran through Merriweather’s property went dry, and Merriweather’s mill could not run more than one day a week. Merriweather sued Evans for obstructing and diverting a water course. A verdict was entered in favor of Merriweather, who was awarded $150 in damages. Evans appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lockwood, J.)

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