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Case Briefs

Bamford v Turnley

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FactsEdit

Turnley burnt bricks in a kiln which sent noxious fumes to the surrounding country, affecting various neighbours. It made them and their servants ill. Bamford sued to prevent the nuisance. At trial it was held that the brick smoke was reasonable because the defendant had only been using the kiln in order to build a home.

IssueEdit

  1. If an act is determined to be a reasonable use of one's property, but it causes a nuisance to neighbours, where does the balance lay – with the individual, or the public?

DecisionEdit

Appeal allowed.

ReasonsEdit

The court held that even if an action is being performed for the public benefit it may still constitute a nuisance. The public gain and the loss of the individual must be balanced – there will always be winners and losers in society; the losers in society should be compensated for their loss. If the defendant is not able to compensate the plaintiff through the profit that they make undergoing the activity, then it must not be in the public interest that the activity goes on.

RatioEdit

  • Even if actions are for the public good they cannot go on causing harm to individuals without compensating them.
  • Sometimes injunctions are too harsh as they stop creative acts, or acts that greatly benefit the public.

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