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Morgan v. High Penn Oil Co

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 238 N.C. 185, 77 S.E.2d 682, 1953 N.C.

Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiffs, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan (Plaintiffs) sued for an injunction and damages due to nauseating fumes and gases emanating from the Defendant’s, High Penn Oil Co. (Defendant), oil refinery business that was less than a mile from Plaintiff’s residence.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A person who intentionally creates or maintains a private nuisance is liable for the resulting injury to others regardless of the degree of care or skill exercised by him to avoid such injury.


Facts. The Plaintiffs bought a tract of land, in which they created areas for trailers and rented these areas out. Approximately 1000 feet from the Plaintiff’s house, was located an oil refinery owned by the Defendant. Plaintiffs alleged that at certain hours during two or three days a week, the Defendant’s business emitted nauseating gas and fumes. Plaintiffs instituted a civil action to recover temporary damages for a private nuisance and to abate the nuisance by an injunction. The jury found for the Plaintiff and awarded damages and the injunction. The Defendant appealed.

Issue. Whether the operation of the oil refinery constituted a nuisance per accidens, even if the business was not operated in a negligent manner.

Content Type: Brief


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