Business/commercial law essay question and answers

Namweya and Nabayi are both tenants and neighbours at a residential estate. Namweya runs a posho mill business on the premises adjoining the house of her neighbour Nabayi. The posho mill is diesel propelled and when in use causes a lot of vibrations.

Recently, as a result of the vibrations from the posho mill, a beam fell from the roof of the adjoining house occupied Nabayi and injured her. Nabayi claims that the vibrations of the posho mill have been a nuisance and has as a result sued Namweya for damages.

Explain the legal principles applicable in this case and advise both Namweya and Nabayi.

ANSWER

• This problem is based on the tort of nuisance. The vibrations occasioned Namweya’s mill amount to public nuisance and the neighbours are supposed to instigate the arrest of Namweya for prosecution for public nuisance which is a crime.

• In the second case since Nabayi has suffered particular injury, as a result of the public nuisance, she has an action in damages against Namweya.

• In Sturges V. Bringman (1879) the plaintiff a doctor built a new consulting room next to defendant’s premises, where he used a pestle and mortar for some 20 years. Noise and vibration interfered with the plaintiff’s practice and he sued the defendant. It was held that the defendant was liable. It was no defence that the plaintiff himself came to the place of nuisance.



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