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Page County Appliance Center, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc

    Brief Fact Summary. Radiation leaking from a computer interfered with a store’s TV reception.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. A person responsible for a nuisance may be liable even though that person has used the highest possible degree of car to prevent or minimize the effect.

    Facts. Appliance Center is an appliance center that originally had no trouble with display televisions. Defendant placed one of its computers in a store near Appliance Center. After the computer was installed, the television reception in Appliance Center went bad. The interference was traced to the computer, and it was determined the problem was caused by radiation leaking from the computer. Repairs were made to the computer, and though the reception improved, it was not returned to its condition prior to this incident. Appliance Center filed a nuisance claim.

    Issue. Does a private nuisance exist when a person has taken a high degree of care to prevent or minimize the occurrence?

    Held. Yes. Judgment reversed and remanded.
    A private nuisance is an actionable interference with a person’s interest in the private use and enjoyment of his or her property.
    A person’s use of property should not unreasonably interfere with or disturb a neighbor’s comfortable and reasonable use and enjoyment of his or her estate. The test of whether the operation of a lawful trade or industry constitutes a nuisance is the reasonableness of conducting it in the manner, at the place, and under the circumstances shown by the evidence.
    Also, the existence of a nuisance is not affected by the intention of its creator not to injure anyone. Instead, each landowner’s time of arrival will be given weight.
    Nuisance is ordinarily considered a condition, and so does not need to be based on negligence. A person responsible for a nuisance may be liable even though that person has used the highest possible degree of car to prevent or minimize the effect.

    Discussion. The right being protected by a nuisance claim is the right to quiet enjoyment of the land. This is not an absolute protection because the harm must be substantial and the interference must be unreasonable.


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