International Paper Co. v. Ouellette
United States Supreme Court
479 U.S. 481 (1987)
Vermont residents Ouellette and others (plaintiffs) filed a class-action nuisance lawsuit in Vermont state court against the International Paper Company (IPC) (defendant) alleging that the pollutants IPC discharged from its New York-based pulp and paper plant on Lake Champlain, and which traveled underwater via diffusion pipe to the banks of Vermont, diminished the value of nearby Vermont residents’ homes due to the unhealthy, smelly discharge in the water. Plaintiffs sought an injunction to stop the discharge as well as monetary damages. IPC removed the lawsuit to federal district court and, there, filed a motion for summary judgment claiming plaintiffs’ state law claims were preempted by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. § 1251, et. seq. The district court denied IPC summary judgment and held that a state action to redress interstate water pollution could be maintained under the state law in which the injury occurred. IPC appealed. The court of appeals affirmed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.