Property II, Pages 824–827

Carpenter v. The Double R Cattle Co., Inc.

Supreme Court of Idaho, 1985

Facts:

Plaintiff lived near defendants' cattle feedlot. Defendant expanded its feedlot with an to accommodate 9,000 cattle. Plaintiff sued, alleging that feedlot's "spread and accumulation of manure, pollution of river and ground water, odor, insect infestation, increased concentration of birds, ... dust and noise" constituted a nuisance.

Procedural History:

A jury found that the feedlot did not constitute a nuisance. The court of appeals reversed and and remanded for a new trial because the jury instructions were not based on the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 826(b).

Issue:

Does Idaho follow the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 826(b)?

Rule:

Reasoning:

  • The court of appeals based its decision on a case that was not about this issue and was only given in dictum.

  • Idaho is a rural state that is dependent on agriculture, lumber, mining, and industrial development. Adopting the Restatement would place an unreasonable burden on these industries.

Holding:

No, Idaho should not follow the Restatement. Court of appeals's decision vacated; trial court's judgment affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion:

Having 9,000 cattle next door is about as nuisant as something can be. While the existence of a nuisance can benefit the community and be allowed to continue to exist, those adversely affected by it should still be compensated. This is part of the cost of doing business and should be paid by the business, not by those around it.

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