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The true intent of a court of equity being to do justice between parties, it will not issue a restraining order except where the rights of the parties demand it, and, in determining this question, all the circumstances of location, the effect of the act claimed to be a nuisance, and the effect upon the defendant's business and interests will be considered; and, while the usefulness of the business, or its importance, magnitude, or extent, will not in all cases prevent interference, yet, if the injury on the one hand is small and fairly compensable in damages, and the loss to the other party would be large and disastrous, an injunction will be refused and the party left to his legal remedy.
Different corporations were accused in a series of complaints of polluting surrounding lands and creating a nuisance. Plaintiff surrounding property owners sought to enjoin the corporations from further operation of the offending plants. The lower court issued injunctive relief to the property owners, and the corporations sought review.
Was injunction the proper remedy of the property owners under the circumstances?
On appeal, the court examined the providence of the lower court's injunction and weighed the various interests of the involved parties. After balancing the interests, the court opined that an injunction was not the preferred remedy for the property owners because the land use and value obtained by the corporations was much greater than any losses of the combined property owners. The court reasoned that therefore, monetary damages reparation was the proper remedy for each complainant. The court remanded the cases and indicated that the various complaints should be separated so that reparations and damages could be separately assessed.