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Pestey v. Cushman

Connecticut Supreme Court
788 A.2d 496 (2002)


James and Joan Pestey (plaintiff) filed a private nuisance suit against Nathan R. Cushman, Nathan P. Cushman, and Cushman Farms Limited Partnership (defendants) seeking money damages and injunctive and declaratory relief after enduring obnoxious odors emanating from defendants’ dairy farm. The defendants constructed a 42,000-square foot free stall barn and milking parlor on their land to house a herd of dairy cows and a pit in which to store the manure generated by the herd. Immediately thereafter, the Pesteys began to notice objectionable odors coming from the farm. Over time the smell worsened. Subsequently, defendants installed a mechanical digester system that broke down the manure into its constituent parts that could eventually be used as an energy source to power the system’s generators. After installation of the system, the odors intensified, evincing acrid smells of Sulphur and sewage that constantly entered the Pesteys’ land. After a trial, the jury was instructed to weigh all of the relevant factors to determine whether the defendants’ conduct constituted a nuisance and interfered with the Pesteys’ enjoyment of their property. The trial court returned a partial verdict in favor of the Pesteys and awarded damages of $100,000. The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Vertefeuille, J.)

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