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State of Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Association

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author: Thomas R. Bender

Summary Introduction

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that the State of Rhode Island “cannot allege” facts sufficient to state a claim for common law public nuisance against lead pigment manufacturers. It based its decision on two basic factors: 1) although the manufacturers placed lead pigment into the stream of commerce, they did not control it at the time it harmed the children; and 2) that harm did not constitute an interference with a public right for purposes of a common law public nuisance.  Read More »

State of Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Association

Read the Court decision

author: Thomas R. Bender

Summary Introduction

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that the State of Rhode Island “cannot allege” facts sufficient to state a claim for common law public nuisance against lead pigment manufacturers. It based its decision on two basic factors: 1) although the manufacturers placed lead pigment into the stream of commerce, they did not control it at the time it harmed the children; and 2) that harm did not constitute an interference with a public right for purposes of a common law public nuisance.  Read More »

Common Law

'''Common Law''', ''n.'' [fr. Law French ''commen ley'' "common law"] 
 1. The body of law derived from judicial decisions, rather than from statutes or constitutions; CASE LAW. Cf. STATUTORY LAW.
 2. The body of law based on the English legal system, as distinct from a civil-law system. Cf. CIVIL LAW ''(1)''.
 3. General law common to the country as a whole, as opposed to special law that has only local application. 
 4. The body of law deriving from law courts as opposed to those sitting in equity.
(''Black's Law Dictionary'' 8th ed., © 2004 West Publishing)
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Public Nuisance: A Historical Perspective

author: John Gray

Syllabus1

Legally, the term “nuisance” is traditionally used in three ways: (1) to describe an activity or condition that is harmful or annoying to others (e.g., indecent conduct, a rubbish heap or a smoking chimney); (2) to describe the harm caused by the before-mentioned activity or condition (e.g., loud noises or objectionable odors); and (3) to describe a legal liability that arises from the combination of the two.2  Read More »