Environmental and Energy Law

Christiaan D. Horton, Esquire

Evidence of damages through date of trial was proper in temporary nuisance case. McGuire, et al. v. Kenoma, LLC, et al., No. 74022 (Mo. App. W.D., June 26, 2012), Witt, J.

Plaintiffs brought a temporary nuisance claim against Defendants who operated a large scale hog farm in Barton County, Missouri. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiffs and awarded damages. Defendants argued that damages for the temporary nuisance claims of Plaintiffs could only be considered up to the date of filing of the initial petition. The court disagreed. Further, the court addressed challenges to the jury instructions on nuisance and upheld those submitted to the jury. In addition, the court corrected jury verdicts that allowed certain Plaintiffs a “double recovery” of damages  sua sponte.

Held:  Affirmed in part and reversed in part. 
Evidence on damages from a temporary nuisance was properly admitted through the date of trial as it did not call for “prospective injury.”  The jury was properly instructed on the substantive law of nuisance. However, the verdicts returned in favor of certain Plaintiffs  required corrective action by the Court and were remitted to prohibit “double recovery” and improper recovery on certain claims.