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Fontainebleau Hotel Corp. v. Forty-Five Twenty-Five, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Plaintiff is suing the defendant to enjoin defendant from building the tower where it would cast shadows over plaintiff’s cabana, swimming pool, and sunbathing areas of its hotel.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    An owner of a land must use his property in a way that does not interfere with the legal rights of others.

    Facts.

    Defendant Fontainebleau Hotel Corp. and Plaintiff Forty-Five Twenty-Five, Inc. owned adjoining hotels. Defendant began expanding its hotel and plaintiff filed suit against defendant to enjoin defendant from building the tower where it would cast shadows over plaintiff’s cabana, swimming pool, and sunbathing areas of its hotel. Plaintiff alleges that the building will cause irreparable injury to its business. The trial court granted a temporary injunction.

    Issue.

    Whether an owner of a land must use his property in a way that does not interfere with the legal rights of others.

    Held.

    Yes. The decision of the trial court is reversed.

    Points of Law - for Law School Success

    Under this maxim, it was stated that it is well settled that a property owner may put his own property to any reasonable and lawful use, so long as he does not thereby deprive the adjoining landowner of any right of enjoyment of his property which is recognized and protected by law, and so long as his use is not such a one as the law will pronounce a nuisance.

    View Full Point of Law
    Discussion.

    In this case, no contract, statute, or easement existed that would give the plaintiff a legal right in the uninterrupted flow of light and air over defendant’s property. A defendant cannot be held liable for blocking the flow of light and air.


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