Law School Case Brief
People's Gas Co. v. Tyner - 131 Ind. 277, 31 N.E. 59 (1892)
The rule that an owner has the right to do as he pleases with or upon his own property is subject to many limitations and restrictions, one of which is that he must have due regard for the rights of others. The owners of a lot may not erect and maintain a nuisance thereon whereby his neighbors are injured. If he does so, and the injury sustained by such neighbor can not be adequately compensated in damages, he may be enjoined.
Tyner sought injunction against People’s Gas to prevent it from exploding a gas well near his home, alleging that it was dangerous to property and life. The gas company dug and constructed a natural gas well near the property owner's residence, and planned to "shoot" the well with nitroglycerine or other explosives to increase the flow of gas from the well. The trial court granted a temporary injunction.
Did the gas company have the right to use explosives to "shoot" the gas well in order to increase its productivity?
The court affirmed the trial court's judgment entering a temporary injunction in favor of the property owner. The rule that the owner has the right to do as he pleases with or upon his own property is subject to many limitations and restrictions, one of which is that he must have due regard for the rights of others. Although the court found that the gas company had the right to sink the well and draw gas from the land of the property owner, the gas company did not have the right to endanger property and lives of those who had no connection with their operations. The court concluded that the neighbors should have been content with the flow of gas that could have been contained without shooting the well.
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