According to the doctrine of "comparative injury" or "balancing of equities" the court will consider the injury which may result to the defendant and the public by granting the injunction as well as the injury to be sustained by the complainant if the writ be denied. If the court finds that the injury to the complainant is slight in comparison to the injury caused the defendant and the public by enjoining the nuisance, relief will ordinarily be refused. It has been pointed out that the cases in which a nuisance is permitted to exist under this doctrine are based on the stern rule of necessity rather than on the right of the author of the nuisance to work a hurt, or injury to his neighbor. The necessity of others may compel the injured party to seek relief by way of an action at law for damages rather than by a suit in equity to abate the nuisance.
Plaintiff neighbors obtained a permanent injunction from the trial court enjoining defendant corporation from operating its air conditioning equipment and tower on the property next to plaintiffs' residence, claiming that this interfered with their use and possession of their property due to the noise that it created. The court granted the neighbors a permanent injunction preventing defendant from operating its air conditioning equipment and tower on the property next to plaintiffs' residence.
Was the issuance of a permanent injunction proper?
The court held that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in balancing the equities in their favor as there was nothing in the record that would reflect benefit to the public in allowing defendant's nuisance to persist. It found that there was nothing indicating that the need of others required plaintiffs to seek relief through an action for damages, rather than by a suit in equity to abate the nuisance.