Waschak (plaintiff) owned a home in a residential area of Taylor, Pennsylvania, a city in the heart of the state’s anthracite coal mining region. Moffat (defendant) operated a nearby coal breaker, a coal processing plant that broke coal into various useful sizes. Hydrogen sulfide gas emanating from two of Moffat’s culm banks, banks of fine-grained anthracite coal produced as a waste byproduct in the mining process, caused the white paint on Waschak’s home to turn to a “scorched black.” Waschak brought suit against Moffat for damages, which was limited to the cost of repainting the exterior of the house with white paint. The trial court entered judgment for Waschak, and Moffat appealed. The superior court affirmed and Moffat appealed to the state’s supreme court.