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Martin v. Reynolds Metals Company

Oregon Supreme Court
342 P.2d 790 (1959)


Facts

From 1951 to 1956, Reynolds Metals Company (Reynolds) (defendant) operated an aluminum-reduction plant that emitted various fluoride compounds in the form of airborne gases and particulates. The airborne fluorides settled on land belonging to Martin (plaintiff). The plant produced approximately 800 pounds of emissions each day. The fluorides, although invisible, made Martin’s land unfit for raising livestock during those years. Martin sued Reynolds for trespass. The trial court found for Martin and awarded damages. Reynolds appealed, arguing that the settling of invisible, airborne gases and particulates on Martin’s land was not a breaking and entering upon real property for purposes of the tort of trespass.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (O’Connell, J.)

Concurrence (McAllister, C.J.)

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