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Miller v. Cudahy Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
858 F.2d 1449 (1988)


Facts

Cecil Miller and other rice farmers (plaintiffs) sued the American Salt Company, an operating division of the Cudahy Company (Cudahy) (defendant), which was itself a wholly owned subsidiary of General Host Corporation (General Host) (defendant). The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants’ salt-mining operations had caused the pollution of an aquifer passing under their farms, preventing the plaintiffs from using the water in the aquifer for irrigation. Evidence was presented that the injuries could be remedied and the cause of the injuries abated if the defendants ceased or altered their mining operations. The district court found that the pollution was a continuing, abatable nuisance causing temporary damages, and found the defendants liable for actual and punitive damages as measured by the loss of use of the land. The defendants appealed, arguing that (1) the pollution caused permanent damages and was therefore subject to the two-year Kansas statute of limitations for injuries causing permanent damages and (2) an award for temporary damages had to be capped at the potential recovery amount for permanent damages.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Baldock, 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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