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Wood v. Picillo

Citation: 12 ELR 21000
No. No. 80-419-Appeal, 443 A.2d 1244/17 ERC 1386/(R.I., 04/09/1982)

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island affirms the trial court's determination that defendants' maintenance of a hazardous waste disposal site constituted a public and private nuisance. The court rules that liability in nuisance is predicated upon unreasonable injury, not unreasonable conduct. The trial testimony established that defendants' dumping operations caused actual injury to defendant's neighbors and threaten to cause incalculable damage to the general public. The court rejects defendants' argument that Rhode Island law requires proof of negligence in nuisance actions arising from groundwater pollution. It holds that concern over environmental pollution and understanding of groundwater has advanced to the point that negligence is not required in such action.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Daniel J. Schatz, Special Ass't Attorney General
72 Pine St., Providence RI 02903
(401) 274-4400

Counsel for Defendants
Charles J. Rogers Jr.
25 S. Angell St., Providence RI 02906
(401) 272-1000

WEINBERGER, Justice, SHEA, J., did not participate.