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Theodore Sedgwick.

A treatise on the measure of damages, or, An inquiry into the principles which govern the amount of pecuniary compensation awarded by courts of justice (Volume 1) online

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operation of the railroad produces a nuisance, as by polluting
the air by smoke, or by obstructing a street by its tracks law-
fully located, the rule is generally held to be the same.^^^ In



116 53 la. 341; ace, VanOrsdol v. B.
C. R. & N. Ry., 56 la. 470; Fowler v.
Des Moines & K. C. Ry., 91 la. 533, 60
N. W. 116.

11^ Alabama: Highland A. B. R. R. v.
Matthews, 99 Ala. 24, 10 So. 267.

Colorado: Denver, T. & F. W. Ry. v.
Pulaski I. D. Co., 19 Colo. 367, 35
Pac. 910.

Florida: Jacksonville, T. & K. W.
Ry. V. Lockwood, 33 Fla. 573, 15 So.
327.

Illinois: Chicago & E. I. R. R. v.
Loeb, 118 111. 203, 8 N. E. 460, and
cases cited; Kankakee & S. R. R. v.
Horan, 131 111. 288, 23 N. E. 621; Cen-
tralia v. Wright, 156 111. 561, 41 N. E.
217; Hart v. Wabash S. R. R., 238 111.
336, 87 N. E. 367, affirming 143 111.
App. 503.

Indiana: Indianapolis, B. & W. Ry.
V. Eberle, 110 Ind. 542; Elkhart & W.
R. R. V. Waldorf, 17 Ind. App. 29, 46 N.
E. 88.

Kentucky: Elizabethtown, L. & B.



S. R. R. V. Combs, 10 Bush, 382, 19
Am. Rep. 67; Fidelity Tr. Co.?;. Shelbj'-
ville W. & L. Co., 33 Ky. L. Rep. 202,
110 S. W. 239; Board of Park Comrs. v.
Donahue, Ky. , 131 S. W. 285.

Massachusetts: Fowle v. New Haven
& N. R. R., 112 Mass. 334.

Nebraska: Gartner v. Chicago, R. I.
& P. R. R., 71 Neb. 444, 98 N. W. 1052.

New Hampshire: Troy v. Cheshire R.
R., 23 N. H. 83, 55 Am. Dec. 177.

Canada: Knapp v. Great W. Ry., 6
Up. Can. C. P. 187. So in case of the
erection of a dock: Rust v. Victoria
Graving Dock Co., 36 Ch. Div. 113.

In Texas if the structure is such as
to cause damage only at times, separate
actions may be brought for each in-
jury, but if the damage produced is
continuous and permanent, the plain-
tiff must obtain the redress in one ac-
tion. Missouri, K. & T. R. R. v.
Graham, 33 S. W. 576, 12 Tex. Civ.
App. 54.

11' Illinois: Chicago & E. I. R. R. v.



§95



INJURY CAUSED BY LAWFUL USE OF LAND



161



some cases it is held that the plaintiff may recover prospective
damages, treating the injury as a permanent one; ^^^ and this
election is not infrequently allowed in case of intermittent in-
jury as by successive floods. ^^^ But if he may, it is clear that
he must.^^° Where, however, the company can institute con-
demnation proceedings, and especially if such proceedings have
actually been instituted since the bringing of the action, ^-^ it
has been held that damages in the action of trespass can be
recovered only to the date of the writ.^- In a few States it is
held that even a nuisance caused by a permanent railroad
structure is continuous, and compensation can be recovered
only for loss to the date of the action. ^-^ Of course, if the struc-



Loeb, 118 lU. 203, 8 N. E. 460, 59 Am.
Rep. 341, n.

Indiana: Porter v. Midland Ry., 125
Ind. 476, 25 N. E. 556.

Iowa: Cadle v. Muscatine W. R. R.,
44 la. 11.

Kentucky: Jeffersonville, M. & I. R.
R. V. Esterle, 13 Bush, 667; Covington
& C. E. Ry. V. Kleymeier, 105 Ky. 609,
49 S. W. 484; Chesapeake & O. Ry. v.
Gross, 19 Ky. L. Rep. 1926, 43 S. W.
203.

i'« Kansas: Central B. U. P. R. R. v.
Andrews, 26 Kan. 702; Wichita & W.
R. R. V. Fechheimer, 36 Kan. 45.

Virginia: Virginia Hot Springs Co. v.
McCray, 106 Va. 461, 56 S. E. 216, 10
L. R. A. (N. S.) 465.

^^^ Arka?isas: St. Louis, I. M. & S.
Ry. V. Biggs, 52 Ark. 240, 12 S. W. 331,
6 L. R. A. 804, 20 Am. St. Rep. 176.

Illinois: Strange v. Cleveland, C, C.
& St. L. Ry., 245 111. 246, 91 N. E.
1036.

Iowa: Harvey v. R. R., 129 Iowa,
476, 105 N. W. 958, 3 L. R. A. (N. S.)
973, 113 Am. St. Rep. 483; Hughes v.
Chicago, B. & O. Ry., 141 la. 273, 119
N. W. 924.

Virginia: American Locomotive Co.
V. Hoffman, 108 Va. 363, 61 S. E. 759.

''"' California: Beronio v. Southern
Pacific R. R., 86 Cal. 415, 21 Am. St.
Rep. 57, 24 Pac. 1093.

11



Illinois: Gait v. Chicago & N. W.
Ry., 157 111. 125, 140, 41 N. E. 643.

Nebraska: Gartner v. Chicago, R. I.
& P. R. R., 71 Neb. 444, 98 N. W. 1052.

Texas: International & G. N. Ry. v.
Giesehnan, 12 Te.x. Civ. App. 123, 34
S. W. 658.

So now by statute in North Carolina.
Ridley v. Seaboard A. L. R. R., 124 N.
C. 34, 32 S. E. 379.

'-^ Indiana: Anderson, L. & St. L.
R. R. V. Kernodle, 54 Ind. 314.

South Carolina: Woodstock, H. & S.
M. Co. V. Charleston L. & W. Co., 84
S. C. 306, 63 S. E. 548.

Wisconsin: Sherman v. Milwaukee,
L. S. & W. R. R., 40 Wis. 645.

1" Callanan v. Port Huron & N. W.
Ry., 61 Mich. 15.

'-' Michigan: Addison F. M. Co. v.
Lake Shore & M. S. Ry., 160 Mich.
330, 125 N. W. 347, 16 Det. L. N. 1075
(explaining Harper v. Detroit, 110
Mich. 427, 68 N. W. 265, and Keyser v.
Lake Shore & M. S. Ry., 142 Mich.
143, 105 N. W. 143).

Minnesota: Lamm v. Chicago, St. P.,
M. & O. Ry., 45 Minn. 71, 47 N. W.
455.

Nebraska: Omaha & R. V. R. R. v.
Standen, 22 Neb. 343.

New York: Uline v. New York C. &
H. R. R. R., 101 N. Y. 98, 4 N. E. 536,
54 Am. Rep. 657, following a long line



1G2



ENTIJtE AND riiOSPECTlVE DAMAGES



§95



ture or the use of it is unauthorized by law, it is not to be sup-
posed permanent, and compensation is recovered only for loss
to date of writ. 124

A\'here any other lawful work of a permanent nature causes
injury to the plaintiff for which he may recover, the rule is the
same, and he must recover all his damages' in one action. So
damages for the enlargement of a public canal '^^ or for con-
structing a sewer ^'^ or a culvert through a railway embank-
ment 1" must be recovered in a single action. ^^^

If a permanent work rightfully done by public authority is



of New York cases. In Pond v. Met.
El. Ry., 112 N. Y. 186, 19 N. E. 487, 8
Am. St. Rep. 734, the court seemed to
regret that the law was so established
by authority, and the rule is practically
neutralized by allowing a petition for
injunction to be inserted, making it
an equitable action; damages are then
given to the time of trial, and the de-
fendant is required to give reasonable
compensation for the future or to be
enjoined, as in Henderson v. New York
C. R. R., 78 N. Y. 423, or by allowing
the parties to agree upon damages for
the whole period, as in Lahr v. Met. El.
R. R., 104 N. Y. 268. Uline v. N. Y.
C. & H. R. R. R. is followed in the later
cases: Ottenot v. New York, L. & W.
Ry., 119 N. Y. 603, 23 N. E. 169. This
whole subject is discussed at length in
a later chapter in connection with the
rules relating to condemnation proceed-
ings.

^■*Iowa: Frith v. Chicago, D. & M.
Ry., 45 la. 406; Cain v. C, R. I. & P.
Ry., 54 la. 255.

Kansas: Interstate C. R. T. Ry. v.
Early, 46 Kan. 197, 26 Pac. 422; Chi-
cago, K. & W. R. R. V. Union I. Co., 51
Kan. 600, 33 Pac. 378; Ottawa, O. C. &
C. G. R. R. V. Peterson, 51 Kan. 604, 33
Pac. 006.

Maine: Attwood v. Bangor, 83 Me.
582, 22 Atl. 466.

Minnesota: Adams v. H. & D. R. R.,
18 Minn. 260.



Tennessee: Harmon v. L. N. O. & T.
R. R., 87 Tenn. 614.

Wisconsin: Ford v. Chicago & N. W.
R. R., 14 Wis. 609, 80 Am. Dec. 791;
Carl V. Sheboygan & F. R. R., 46 Wis.
625.

'25 Queen v. Hubert, 14 Can. 737.

'-* Kentucky: Maysville v. Stanton,
14 S. W. 675.

Missouri: Kellogg v. Kirksville, 149
Mo. App. 1, 129 S. W. 57 (pollution
of stream by sewer).

127 Kansas: Kansas P. Ry. v. Mihl-
man, 17 Kan. 224.

Canada: Patterson v. G. W. Ry., 8
Up. Can. C. P. 89.

'2* Illinois: Centralia v. Wright, 156
111. 561, 41 N. E. 217 (waterworks).

Indiana: Lafayette v. Nagle, 113
Ind. 425, 15 N. E. 1 (change of grade of
highway).

Iowa: Hempstead v. Des Moines, 63
Iowa, 36, 18 N. W. 676 (change of
grade of highway); Bizer v. Ottumwa
Hydraulic P. Co., 70 Iowa, 145, 30 N.
W. 172 (dam).

Maryland: Baltimore v. Merryman,
86 Md. 584, 39 Atl. 98 (dam).

Where an electric light plant, the
operation of which permanently injures
adjoining land, is built by one and then
.sold to and ojierated by another, but
one suit for damages, both past and
prospective, may be maintained, and
both may be sued jointly. Hyde Park
T. H. E. L. Co. i: Porter, 167 111. 276,
47 N. E. 206.



§ 95 INJURY CAUSED BY LAWFUL USE OF LAND 163

yet so negligently done as to cause continuing injury to the
plaintiff, it is to be supposed that the negligence will be rem-
edied, and the plaintiff can therefore recover onlj'- for loss to
the date of his writ.^-^ And so where the plan of the work is
such that the defendant is committing the nuisance only tem-
porarily, the same is true. Thus where a city committed a nui-
sance by discharging its sewage near plaintiff's land, but the
plan adopted by the city contemplated a discharge in another
place, and the discharge near the plaintiff's land was temporary,
he was held entitled to maintain successive actions. ^^°

12' Alabama: Eufaula v. Simmons, 86 New York: Duryea v. Mayor, 26

Ala. 515. Hun, 120.

Illinois: Fields v. Johnston, 143 111. Texas: Gulf, C. & S. F. Ry. v. Hep-

App. 485. ner, 83 Tex. 136, 18 S. W. 441 ; Heilbron

Indiana: For' er v. Midland Ry., 125 v. St. Louis S. W. Ry. (Tex. Civ. App.),

Ind. 476, 25 N. E. 556 (but see North 113 S. W. 979.

Vernon f. Voegler, 103 Ind. 314). ''" Chattanooga v. Dowhng, 101

Iowa: Powers v. Council Bluffs, 45 Tenn. 342, 47 S. W. 700.
la. 652, 24 Am. Rep. 782.



CHAPTER VI



NOMINAL DAMAGES



96. Nominal damages distin- § 105.

guished from substantial
damages. 106.

96a. The common law relieves only 107.

from actual injury.

97. Damage inferred from the fact 107a.

of wrong done.

98. Nominal damages for the in-

fringement of a right. 107b,

99. Nominal damages establish ti-

tle.

100. Application of the rule in torts 107c.

— English Cases.

101. American cases.

102. In actions upon patents or 107d,

trade-marks.

103. In actions against public offi- 108.

cers.

104. General principle in actions of 109.

tort.



Actions of contract — English
cases.

American cases.

Where no loss is inflicted dam-
ages must be nominal.

Nominal damages where the
amount of damage is not
proved.

Where the extent of dam-
age is uncertain in its na-
ture.

Where the act is not by its
nature calculated to cause
loss.

Where no loss happened on the
facts of the case.

Nominal damages as affecting
costs.

Error in the disallowance of
nominal damages.



§ 96'\ Nominal damages distinguished from substantial dam-
ages.

Before proceeding to consider the measure of legal compensa-
tion in cases where actual loss is sustained, it will be proper to
examine the rule of Nominal Damages as contra-distinguished
from Substantial Damages.

''Nominal damages," said the Connecticut court, ''mean no
damages at all. They exist only in name and not in amount.
In the quaint saying of an old writer they are a mere peg to
hang costs on." ^ 11



(a) For § 96 of the 8th edition see
§86a.

'Stanton v. N. Y. & E. Ry., 59
Conn. 272, 21 Am. St. 110, 22 Atl. 300.

164



"Some small amount sufficient to
carry the costs." Ransone v. Christian,
56 Ga. 351.



§ 96a COMMON LAW RELIEVES ONLY ACTUAL INJURY 165

When a case is made out for nominal damages it is error to
instruct the jury that "some damages must be given." ^

An allowance for nominal damages usually means an allow-
ance of one cent, or six cents/ or some such very small sum;
but an allowance of one dollar has been treated as nominal dam-
ages.^ Any larger amount could hardly be held nominal.^

The term is contrasted with substantial damages, which
means an amount assessed as the equivalent of an actually
proved loss, however small. Small damages awarded as com-
pensation for an actually proved but slight loss are not nominal
damages.^

§ 96a. The common law relieves only from actual injury.

*We shall have frequent occasion hereafter to notice that
the common law, as a general rule, only gives actual compensa-
tion in cases of actual injury. The object of the suit is to ob-
tain remuneration for loss actually sustained. If it appear that
though the defendant is in fault, still that the plaintiff is not
injured, he can have no relief. It is injuria sine damno. As
far back as the Year Books, it is said, '' If a man forge a bond in
my name, I can have no action on the case yet; but if I am
sued, I may, for the wrong and damage, though I may avoid it

^ Dady v. Gondii, 188 111. 234, 58 N. be called nominal damages would vary

E. 900. according to the nature of the case and

' New York: Segelke v. Finan, 48 what would be trivial in one suit

Hun, 310, 1 N. Y. Supp. 381. would not be in another. There is no

Delaware: Bennum v. Coursey, 7 maximum amount. See to the same

Pen. 74, 76 Atl. 53. effect Southern Ry. v. Johnson,

^Moei'. Chesrown, 54 Minn. 118, 55 Ga. App. , 70 S. E. 69. And in

N. W. 832. Stanley v. Schumpert, 117 La. 255, 41

'' Indiana: Glass v. Garber, 55 Ind. So. 565, 6 L. R. A. (N. S.) 306, a ver-

336 (three dollars and a half). diet of $25 as nominal damages was al-

Michigan: Phenix t'. Clark, 2 Mich. lowed. But in these cases the court

327 (fifteen dollars). appears to have confused small but

Washington: Trumbull v. School real actual damages with nominal dam-

Dist., 22 Wash. 631, 61 Pac. 714 ages,

(twenty-six dollars). ^ North Dakota: Tri-State T. & T.

But in Western U. T. Co. v. Glenn, Co. v. Cosgriff, N. Dak. , 124

Ga. App. , 68 S. E. 881, the N. W. 75, 26 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1171.

court allowed a verdict for $250 to England: Steamship Mediana t'.

stand, after a charge that only nomi- Lightship Comet, [1900] A. C. 113, 9

nal damages could be recovered. The Aspin. Mar. 41, 69 L. J. P. 35, 82 L.

court said that the amount that could T. Rep. 95, 48 W. R. 398.



166 NOMINAL DAMAGES § 97

by plea." ' And so Lord Hobart, C. J., says, "There must be
not only a thing done amiss, but also a damage either already
fallen upon the party, or else inevitable." ^ Equity often pro-
ceeds, quia timet, in the exercise of her preventive powers to
arrest the threatened injury, and there were some early and now
obsolete proceedings of the same character at law; ^ but, as a
general rule, it may at present be considered well settled that
the relief of the common law is only to be obtained by those
who have suffered actual injury. This proposition is, however,
subject to the modification which we shall now proceed to con-
sider in relation to nominal damages.

§ 97. Damage inferred from the fact of wrong done.

Wherever the breach of an agreement or the invasion of a
right is established, the English law infers some damage to the
plaintiff; and if no evidence is given of any particular amount
of loss, it declares the right by awarding what it terms nominal
damages, being some very small sum, as a farthing, a penny, or
sixpence — Ubi jus, ihi remedium. "Every injury," said Lord
Holt, "imports a damage." ^° So again, in the same case as
elsewhere reported, his Lordship said:

"My brother Powell, indeed, thinks that an action upon the
case is not maintainable, because there is no hurt or damage to
the plaintiff; but surely, every injury imports a damage, though
it does not cost the party one farthing, and it is impossible to
prove the contrary; for a damage is not merely pecuniary, but
an injury imports a damage where a man is thereby hindered of
his right. As in an action for slanderous words, though a man
does not lose a penny by reason of the speaking them, yet he
shall have an action. So if a man gives another a cuff on the
ear, though it cost him nothing, no, not so much as a little dia-

' 19 H. 6, 44. Monslraverunt before any distresse or

8 Watcrer v. Freeman, Hobart, 266. vexation. 4. An Audita Querela before

' "And note," says Lord Coke, "that any execution sued. 5. A Curia Clau-

there be six writs in law that may be denda before any default of inclosure.

maintained, quia timet, before any 6. A ne injuste vexes before any distresse

molestation, distresse or impleading, as or molestation. And these be called

1. A man may have his writ of mesne brevia anticipanlia, writs of preven-

(whereof Littleton here speaks), be- tion." — Coke, Lit. lOOo. Story's Equity

fore ho be distreyned. 2. A Warrantia Jurisprudence, §§ 730 and 825.
Cartoe before he be inipli'iided. 3. A '" Ashby v. White, 1 Salk. 19.



§ 98 NOMINAL DAMAGES FOR INFRINGEMENT OF RIGHT 1()7

chylon, yet he shall have his action, for it is a personal injury.
So a man shall have an action against another for riding over
his ground, though it do him no damage, for it is an invasion of
his property, and the other has no right to come there." ^^

"Wherever," says Mr. Sergeant Williams, ''any act injures
another's right, and would be evidence in future in favor of the
wrongdoer, an action may be maintained for an invasion of
the right, without proof of any specific injury." ^- **



§ 98. Nominal damages for the infringement of a right.

It is now well established that nominal damages may be re-
covered for the bare infringement of a right, or for a breach of
contract, unaccompanied by any actual damage. ^^ To state



11 2 Ld. Raym. 938, 955.

1^ Mellor V. Spateman, 1 Saund. 3466.

" United States: Troy L. M. Co. v.
Dolph, 138 U. S. 617, 623, 34 L. ed.
1083, 11 Sup. Ct. 412; Watts v. Phoenix
Mut. L. Ins. Co., 16 Blatch. 228.

Alabama: Bagby v. Harris, 9 Ala.
173; Drum v. Harrison, 83 Ala. 384.

Arkansas: Barlow v. Lowder, 35
Ark. 492.

California: Browner v. Davis, 15
Cal. 9; Hancock v. Hubbell, 71 Cal. 537.

Delaware: Quillen v. Betts, 1 Pen-
new. 53, 39 Atl. 595.

Georgia: Kenny v. Collier, 79 Ga.
743.

Illinois: Burnap v. Wight, 14 111.
301; McConnel v. Kibbe, 33 111. 175, 85
Am. Dec. 265; Dent i'. Davison, 52 III.
109.

Indiana: Rosenbaum v. McThomas,
34 Ind. 331; Wimberg v. Schevegeman,
97 Ind. 528.

Iowa: Madison County v. Tullis, 69
la. 720.

Kansas: Curtis v. Paggett, 97 Kan.
86, 27 Pac. 109.

Maine: Webb i'. Gross, 79 Me. 224.

Massachusetts: Brown v. Perkins, 1
All. 89; Smith v. Whiting, 100 Mass.
122; McKim v. Bartlett, 129 Mass. 226;
Shattuck V. Adams, 136 Mass. 34.

Minnesota: Cowley v. Davidson, 10



Minn. 392; Potter v. Mellen, 36 Minn.
122.

New Hampshire: Runlett ;;. Bell, 5
N. H. 433; French v. Bent, 43 N. H.
448; Golden v. Knapp, 41 N. J. L. 215.

New York: Taylor v. Read, 4 Paige
561; Quin v. Moore, 15 N. Y. 432;
Pierce v. Hosmer, 66 Barb. 345; Colt v.
Owens, 47 N. Y. Super. -Ct. 4;30; Law-
rence V. Kemp, 1 Duer 363; Shannon
V. Burr, 1 Hilt. 39.

North Carolina: Bond v. Hilton, 2
Jones L. 149; Ledbetter v. Morris, 3
Jones L. 543; Kimel v. Kimel, 4 Jones
L. 121; White v. Griffin, 4 Jones L.
139; Anders v. Ellis, 87 N. C. 207.

Ohio: Coe v. Peacock, 14 Oh. St. 187;
Coopers v. Wolf, 15 Oh. St. 523.

Pennsylvania: Hutchinson v. Schim-
melfeder, 40 Pa. 396, 80 Am. Dec. 582.

South Carolina: Hogg v. Pinckney, 16
S. C. 387.

Tennessee: Seat v. Moreland, 7
Humph. 575.

Texas: Hope v. Alley, 9 Te.x. 394;
Lawless v. Evans (Tex. App.) 14 S. W.
1019.

Vermont: Collins v. St. Peters, 65 Vt.
618, 27 Atl. 425.

Wisconsin: Eaton v. Lyman, 30 Wis.
41.

England: Marzetti v. Williams, 1 B.
& A. 415; Feize v. Thompson, 1 Taunt.



108 NOMINAL DAMAGES § 99

when rights arc infringed, and consequently when nominal dam-
ages are recoverable, would be to recapitulate the whole corpus
juris. A few additional illustrations, however, may be given.
In Tootle r. Clifton," the wrong complained of was the erection
by the defendant of an embankment on his own land, whereby
the surface water accumulating on the land of the plaintiff was
prevented from flowing ofT in its natural course and caused
to flow ofT in a different direction over land of the plaintiff.
The plaintifT was allowed to maintain the action, and recover
nominal damages, although not actually injured. So the re-
versioner can recover nominal damages on the general covenant
to repair, although he has not suffered any substantial dam-
age. ^^ If a passenger on a railroad train is carried beyond his
destination he can recover nominal damages. ^^ In libel the
plaintiff can recover nominal damages. ^^

If the defendant pending suit pays the debt or returns the
property converted, and the payment or return is accepted
by the plaintiff, nominal damages may be recovered. ^^

§ 99. Nominal damages establish title.

* In regard to the right invaded, a verdict and judgment for
the smallest amount is as effectual as any sum, however large;
for it establishes the fact of the plaintiff's title. And in the
common case of trespass to lands, the main object usually
being to determine the right, this principle becomes ver}^ im-
portant. In many of these cases it might seem at first sight
that the maxim injuria sine damno applied, and that the law
would refuse redress.** But besides enforcing the principle that

121; Barker v. Green, 2 Bing. 317; Louisiana: Levert v. Daily S. P. Co.,

Nosotti V. Page, 10 C. B. 643. 123 La. 594, 49 So. 206, 23 L. 11. A.

Canada: M'Leod v. Boulton, 3 Up. (N. S.) 726.

Can. Q. B. 84; Doan v. Warren, 11 Up. England: Kelly v. Sherlock, L. R. 1

Can. C. P. 423; Doe v. Ausman, 1 R. & Q. B. 686.

J. Ont. Dig. 989; Morrow v. Waterous, i'* California: Conroy v. Flint, 5 Cal.

24 N. B. 442. 327.

" 22 Oh. St. 247, 10 Am. Rep. 732. Massachusetls: Shattuck v. Adams,

" Williams v. Williams, L. R. 9 C. P. 136 Mass. 34.

659. England: But in England it is decided

" Thompson v. N. O., J. & G. N. R. that judgment should be given for the

R., 50 Miss. 315. defendant. Thame v. Boast, 12 Q. B.

'" Delaware: Bennum v. Coursey, 7 808.
Pen. 74. 76 All. 53.



§ 99 NOMINAL DAMAGES ESTABLISH TITLE 1G9

wherever there is a wrong there should be a remedy, this rule
of giving nominal damages for the infliction of any legal wrong
may settle the question of title or determine rights of the great-
est importance. ^^ As has been clearly said by the Supreme
Court of Connecticut, in an action for flowing lands, ''An act
which occasions no other damage than putting at hazard those
rights, which, if the act were acquiesced in, would be lost by
lapse of time, is a sufficient ground of action." -° So, again, it
has been said in Maine, speaking of the flowage of lands, "Gen-
erally, when one encroaches on the inheritance of another the
law gives a right of action, and even if no actual damages are
proved, the action w^ill be sustained and nominal damages
recovered; because, unless that could be done, the encroach-
ment acquiesced in might ripen into a legal right, and the tres-
passer, by a continuance of his encroachments, acquire a perfect
title." -^ So, in Pennsylvania, in trespass for flowing lands, it
was held ''that the law implies damage from flooding the ground
of another, though it be in the least possible degree, and with-
out actual prejudice. But where the law implies the injur^^, it
also implies the lowest damage." - And the rule is generally
recognized.-^

" Georgia: Price v. High Shoals Mfg. N. E. 995, 56 L. R. A. 494 (impair-

Co., 64 S. E. 87, 132 Ga. 246, 22 L. R. ment of access to river); Devendorf v.

A. (N. S.) 684 (diversion of water); Wert, 42 Barb. 227 (breach of con-

Batson v. Higginbothem, 68 S. E. 455, tract).

7 Ga. App. 835 (trespass on land). Vermont: Fullman v. Cummings, 16

Iowa: Harvey v. Mason, C. & F. D. Vt. 697 (conversion of written ac-

R. R., 129 la. 465, 105 N. W. 958, 3 count).

L. R. A. (N. S.) 973 (flooding land). England: Patrick v. Greenaway, 1

Maine: Munroe v. Stickney, 48 Me. Wms. Saunds. 3466, note (unlawfully

462 (diversion of water). fishing).

Missouri: Hahn v. Cotton, 136 Mo. -° Connecticut: Chapman v. Thames

216, 37 S. W. 919 (withholding land). Manuf. Co., 13 Conn. 269, 33 Am. Dec.

New Haynpshire: Tillotson v. Smith, 401.

32 N. H. 90, 64 Am. Dec. 355 (over- New Hampshire: Bassett v. Salisburj'

flowing water course). Manuf. Co., 28 N. H. 438.

New Jersey: Newark v. Chestnut ^i jjathorne ?;. Stinson, 12 Me. 183;

Hill Land Co., N. J. Eq. , 75 Seidensparger v. Spear, 17 Me. 123.

Atl. 644 (diversion of water). " Pennsylvania: Pastorius v. Fisher,

New York: New York Rubber Co. v. 1 Rawle, 27; Ripka v. Sergeant, 7 W. &

Rothery, 132 N. Y. 293, 30 N. E. 841 S. 9.

(diversion of water); Slingerland v. In- " United States: AVhipple v. Cumber-

temational C. Co., 169 N. Y. 60, 61 land Manuf. Co., 2 Story, 661.



170 NOMINAL DAMAGES ^ 100

§ 100. Application of the rule in torts English cases.

* In an earl}' English case, well known as that of The Tun-
bridge Wells Dippers,-^ an action on the case was brought by



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