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Boomer v. Atl. Cement Co. - 72 Misc. 2d 834, 340 N.Y.S.2d 97 (Sup. Ct. 1972)

Rule:

Punitive damages will not be awarded unless the wrong complained of is morally culpable, or is actuated by evil and reprehensible motives. 

Facts:

The cement company began the operation of a large plant. The neighboring landowners filed suit for injunctive relief and damages, alleging injury to their property as a nuisance from dirt, smoke, and vibrations coming from the plant. The case was tried, and a judgment established a nuisance and awarded temporary damages. However, injunctive relief was refused. The cases were appealed and several were settled. Three were retried, and two landowners settled after retrial, leaving one who had not settled. 

Issue:

Were the landowners entitled to damages and an injunction?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The court assessed the damages for the total economic loss to the landowner's property by the servitude on the land imposed by the plant's nuisance, and granted the landowner an injunction which would be vacated on payment by the plant of the damages awarded. The court awarded damages on behalf of the one remaining landowner and held that the fair market value rule was not the sole criterion in determining permanent damages. 

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