Presentation on theme: "Business And Its Legal Environment (Mgmt 246) Professor Charles H. Smith Environmental Law (Chapter 24) Fall 2010."— Presentation transcript:
Business And Its Legal Environment (Mgmt 246) Professor Charles H. Smith Environmental Law (Chapter 24) Fall 2010
Types of Pollution Air pollution – mobile and stationary sources expel pollutants into the air, making breathing, sight and even life difficult; e.g., motor vehicles, factories. Water pollution – industrial, governmental and agricultural sources; e.g., organic waste, soil runoff, heated water, nutrients such as detergents, fertilizers and human/animal waste, toxic and other hazardous materials. Noise pollution – loud and otherwise annoying noise; e.g., party music, motor vehicles, manufacturing, barking dog. Soil pollution/contamination – e.g., toxic and other hazardous materials such as petroleum products. All types of pollution regulated by federal, state and/or local statutes, which can lead to “anti-business” accusations against city, county, state or country.
Nuisance Nuisance occurs when landowner uses property in manner that unreasonably interferes with others’ rights to use or enjoy their own property. Court may balance plaintiff’s harm caused by interference with property rights with harm to defendant and the community if required to stop activity causing the nuisance in order to decide whether the activity is wrongful; e.g., interests of residents who live near airport to be protected from noise and other pollution vs. benefits gained from airport. Private nuisance – when plaintiff suffers distinct harm that is unique to plaintiff or separate from harm affecting others. Public nuisance – when multiple victims suffer same or similar harm due to nuisance.
Nuisance cont. Nuisance is a common law theory but now most commonly shown by violation of statute; examples include –Business’ violation of federal and state regulations as to waste disposal and storage. –Neighbor’s barking dog which is regulated by city ordinance. –Landscaping or loud music violates city ordinance as to volume and/or time. –Student examples.
Nuisance cont. Zoning laws are relevant in determining whether a nuisance has occurred. Zoning laws designate the permitted use(s) for land; e.g., single family or multi-unit residence, commercial, industrial, etc. Use of land in compliance with zoning laws can eliminate any claim of nuisance.
Remedies in Nuisance Cases Legal and equitable remedies are available in nuisance cases –Damages for harm caused in the past (though financial loss may occur in the past, in the future, or both) Special damages. General damages. Punitive damages. –Injunction to prevent more of the same harm in the future. –Plaintiff may be entitled to damages, an injunction, or both depending on the circumstances.
Nuisance Case Study ABC Factory in Podunk, Arkansas disposes of toxic waste in violation of federal law; as a result, nearby residents get serious rash. –Has there been a nuisance? –What remedy(ies) are available to those who get rash because of this illegal disposal? –What nuisance theory(ies) apply to this situation? –Should the remedies be different if this illegal disposal was (1) intentional or (2) an accident? –If ABC Factory employs 75% of the residents of Podunk, Arkansas, how should the court balance the harm to the nearby residents against the harm that could be caused by penalizing ABC Factory? –Would it matter if the land occupied by ABC Factory is zoned “industrial” (or not zoned at all)?