Login

Login

To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library

Add

Search

Login
Register

Cline v. American Aggregates Corp.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    The Supreme Court of Ohio adopted a new rule that states a landowner may extract water from beneath the surface of their land for a beneficial purpose so long as an unreasonable amount of water is not taken, the extraction does not cause harm to the neighboring landowner, or the extraction does not affect a neighboring lake or watercourse which unreasonably causes a harm to a person. 

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A landowner may extract water from beneath their land’s surface without suffering any liability and the water is used for a beneficial purpose except when, the extraction of the water is in such a large amount that it is deemed unreasonable, the extraction is harmful to a neighboring landowner, or the extraction harms a nearby lake or watercourse and unreasonably causes a harm to another person. 

    Facts.

    American Aggregates Corporation (Defendant) were miners and extracted a stone known as limestone. The process of mining limestone calls for extracting water from beneath the surface in order to reach the layer of soil which contains the limestone. The miners actually extracted water from an aquifer which provides water to the neighboring town. Several landowners brought suit because the wells in which the town would gather water ran dry as a result of the excavation by the Defendant. Trial Court ruled in favor of the defendant and plaintiffs appeal. 

    Issue.

    Whether a landowner is liable for excavating water beneath their land for a beneficial purpose but the excavation unreasonably interfered with neighboring properties right to the water?

    Held.

    Yes. The court throws out the old common law in which the trial court applied and implements a new law. A landowner may extract water from beneath their land’s surface without suffering any liability if the water is used for a beneficial purpose except when, the extraction of the water is in such a large amount that it is deemed unreasonable, the extraction is harmful to a neighboring landowner, or the extraction harms a nearby lake or watercourse and unreasonably causes a harm to another person who may have access to that lake or watercourse. The court remands the case to the trial court to apply the new law. 

    Concurrence.

    Judge Holmes agrees with the Court’s new rule and believes the old rule was outdated. He further believes this will prevent excessive use of water. 

    Discussion.

    The common law rule was based on old science in which the water had an unknown origin and so it was unclear who the water properly belonged to. 


    Create New Group

      Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following