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IRAC Case Analysis of a Civil Case

Dan operates a factory that makes peanut butter in the City of Zealand. The factory has been making peanut butter for more than 50 years. Dan factory was located in an area zoned for factory use where 10 other factories were located. All of the other factories have closed. The factory emits smoke and the odor of peanuts. However all emissions from the factory are within all governmental regulations.

Five years ago, the City of Zealand changed the zoning for the property where the abandoned factories stood to residential. The City then tore down an old factory near Dan's Factory and built a large public park a block from Dan's factory. Amy, a resident of Zealand thinks that the smoke and odor from the factory interferes with the resident's enjoyment of the park. Amy has filed a nuisance suit against Dan and seeks to recover the diminution in value of the park.

Explain why Amy will or will not succeed in her action.

Four years ago, Developer bought one of the abandoned factories two blocks from Dan's and converted it to 24 condominium units. Three years ago, Bob bought one of the units for $250,000. Two years ago, Bob got transferred by his company to Hawaii. Bob has been trying to sell his condo for more than a year but the best offer he has received is $75,000 because the buyers claim they can smell peanuts. Bob sues Dan for nuisance.

Explain why Bob will or will not prevail.

Solution Preview

Issue: The issue in this case is whether or not Amy will succeed in her action, that included the filing of a nuisance suit against Dan, to recover the diminution in the value of a park, due to the fact that it is her belief that smoke and odor from Dan's factory interferes with the residents' enjoyment of the park, and will Bob succeed in his action to sue Dan for nuisance, due to Bob's belief that the smell from Dan's peanut butter factory has caused a depreciation in the value of Bob's ...

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