J.H. BORLAND, SR. V. SANDERS LEAD CO., Supreme Ct. of AL, 1979, 369 So. 2d 523

Document Sample
J.H. BORLAND, SR. V. SANDERS LEAD CO., Supreme Ct. of AL, 1979, 369 So. 2d 523 Powered By Docstoc
					TORTS J.H. BORLAND, SR. V. SANDERS LEAD CO., Supreme Ct. of AL, 1979, 369 So. 2d 523 History: Action for trespass to recover damages for pollution to property; judgment was rendered for the Defendant Facts: Sanders Lead Co. started an operation for the recovery of lead from car batteries conducted on the property across the road from the Borlands’; the smelter used to reduce the plates from used car batteries, traveled out of the smelter house and resulted in the emission of lead particulates deposits and sulfoxide gases Issue(s): Were pollutants emitted from from Sanders Lead factory smelter, which got onto Borland’s farm, an action for trespass against Borlands? Holding: Reversed and remanded for new trial; Analysis: Trespass doesn’t have to be onto another’s property, but can be by the discharging of foreign polluting matter beyond the boundary of that property; trespass and nuisance are separate torts; “law of trespass”—if the intrusion interferes with the right to exclusive possession of property; “law of nuisance”—if the intrusion is to the interest in use and enjoyment of property; remedies of trespass and nuisance are not mutually exclusive Points out the rule de minimus—court will not entertain trivial matters But Plaintiffs have suffered a real and substantial invasion of a protected interest Direct/indirect analysis must be used to determine elements for trespass; if intrusion is direct, then actual damages don’t have to be shown, nominal damages can be awarded and this’ll support punitive damages (whether intrusion is intentional or not) In order to recover for an indirect intrusion, Plaintiff must show 1.) an invasion affecting an interest in the exclusive possession of his property, 2.) an intentional doing of the act which results in the invasion, 3.) reasonable foreseeability that the act done could result in an invasion of plaintiff’s possessory interest, and 4.) substantial damages to the real property; for an indirect intrusion to be an actionable trespass, there must be an interference w/Plaintiff’s exclusive possessory interest a/k/a through Defendant’s intentional conduct and w/reasonable forseeability, some substance has entered the land itself affecting its nature and character and causing substantial actual damage to the real property Nuisance is usually the injury caused by such acts resulting in a diminution of the use value of the property causally related to the harmful conduct