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Halsey v Esso

[1961] 1 WLR 683

Case summary last updated at 19/01/2020 15:36 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Halsey v Esso

D ran an oil depot near P’s home. As a result P’s car-paintwork was damaged and acid smuts appeared on P’s clothes when hung out. There was also constant night time noise and occasional bad smells. QBD held (1) that the damage to clothes and car was to be compensated; (2) That the smell/noise was actionable nuisance since it happened frequently, wasn’t a triviality and health problems are NOT pre-requisites to making a claim of nuisance by noise/smell; (3) The noise and smell were actionable as “materially interfering with the ordinary comfort, physically, of human existence according to the standards of ordinary and reasonable persons living in that area”.
Veale J: The character of the area is not to be taken into consideration in cases of material damage to property, but IS relevant in nuisance by noise or smell, since there is no absolute standard and whether it is sufficient to constitute a nuisance depends on the area. Negligence does not have to be established for there to have been nuisance. 

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