Hey! Keep It Down Over There! — Nuisance Law Part I

Do you live near a noisy factory, warehouse, or other type of business?  Do you have to put up with trucks and heavy machinery rumbling and banging and booming all day or, worse yet, all night?  Are you feeling vibrations that make you wonder whether the space shuttle just lifted off from your back yard?  If so, you may have a legal claim for “private nuisance.”  Private nuisance law principles apply to noisy or loud businesses, factories, and warehouses in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale, Waukee, and the surrounding areas.

“Private nuisance” refers to situations in which persons or businesses use their land in a manner that unreasonably interferes with other landowners’ use and enjoyment of their land.  A private nuisance claim can include noise and vibrations if they’re bad enough.  Possible damages in a private nuisance case include loss of property value, damages for physical injuries, damages for irritation, discomfort, and annoyance, and even punitive damages.

Maybe your local government has allowed the construction of a new business or changed the permissible use (for example, through zoning) of property near your home or business.  Perhaps you challenged the proposed government action and lost.  Do you now have to live with the noisy new business in your backyard?  Probably, but you may also be able to recover the types of damages described above, especially if you built and occupied your home before the warehouse or factory was in place.  The fact that your local government has allowed the building, even the fact that you challenged the building and lost, does not prevent you from making a claim for a private nuisance.  A business that is operated in full compliance with all applicable laws can still be judged a nuisance by a court.

So if you are facing this type of situation, don’t give up just because your local government didn’t support you.  Erbe Law Firm is currently representing a group of homeowners against a local developer in a suit concerning noise and vibrations from the developer’s warehouse.  Erbe Law Firm’s clients challenged several of the developer’s proposals before their local government and lost.  With Erbe Law Firm’s help, they have now turned to their last resort, the courts.

Please contact Erbe Law Firm for a free in-person consultation with an attorney if you are experiencing a similar situation and would like to discuss the possibility of a private nuisance claim.


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