Stratton v. Mt. Hermon Boys’ School
Massachusetts Supreme Court
103 N.E. 87 (1913)
Stratton (plaintiff) owned a mill downstream from Mt. Hermon Boys’ School (defendant). Mt. Hermon pumped water from the stream to a parcel of non-riparian land, where it used the water for school purposes. Stratton filed suit claiming that Mt. Hermon’s diversion of water unlawfully reduced the stream flow available to power his mill wheel. The trial court instructed the jury that Mt. Hermon’s right to divert water was limited only to diversion for use upon land adjacent to the stream. The trial court further instructed the jury that any diversion to non-riparian land entitled Stratton to relief even if Stratton suffered no actual damages. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Stratton. Mt. Hermon appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rugg, C.J.)
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