Spur Industries, Inc. v. Del E. Webb Development Co.
494 P.2d 700 (1972)
Spur Industries ran a cattle feedlot that was originally
way out in a rural area.
Spur started operations in 1956, but people had been
raising cattle in the area since at least 1911.
Over time, nearby cities grew and people started moving closed and closer to the feedlot. In 1959,
the Sun City housing development was built by Webb.
Webb sued Spur because the smell from the feedlots was a nuisance
to the residents of the houses he built.
The Trial Court found for Webb.
The Trial Court found that Spur's operation was an enjoinable
Btw, "enjoin" is the verb form of an injunction.
The Court was saying that an injunction could be granted to
stop Spur from using the feedlot.
The Appellate Court affirmed in part and reversed in part.
In general, the courts have held that if you enter an
area reserved for industrial or agricultural use and are damaged by a nuisance,
you can't get relief due to the doctrine of coming to the nuisance.
Webb could not get relief based on Spur being a private
However, the courts have also held that Spur is required
to move not because of any wrongdoing on the part of Spur, but because of
a proper and legitimate regard for the courts for the rights and the
interest of the public.
Basically, Sun City could get relief on the basis of Spur being a public
However, since Webb brought the city to Spur, Webb is
responsible for the nuisance. Therefore, since Webb caused the foreseeable
detriment of Spur, Webb must pay a reasonable amount of the costs of
relocating Spur's business.
Basically, in this case, the Court is saying that if you
put yourself in the way of a legal business and are nuisanced by it, then
you can get an injunction to make the business move, but you will have to
pay the costs incurred by the business!
This case also explains the difference between a private
nuisance that annoys a particular landowner, and a public nuisance
that annoys the general public at large. There are different standards
for relief depending on which nuisance you are causing.