Addressing the relatively uncommon “prospective nuisance” claim, an Illinois appeals court found a group of landowners pleaded sufficient facts to show that a new sand mining operation would result in a nuisance if constructed. See Whipple v. Vill. of N. Utica, 3-15-0547 (Ill. App. Ct., Mar. 9, 2017). The court reversed the trial court’s decision and found that the landowners could proceed with a claim to enjoin construction of the facility

The Village of North Utica, Illinois, over the objections of nearby landowners, approved the annexation and rezoning of three agricultural land tracts to allow operation of a proposed silica mine. Plaintiffs filed suit seeking an injunction against the mine facility alleging, among other things, prospective nuisance. In other words, Plaintiffs alleged that, if constructed and operated as intended, the mine would constitute a nuisance. The trial court dismissed all of Plaintiffs’ claims.

On appeal, the court held that the landowners alleged sufficient facts to state a claim for private nuisance. Relying on the mining company’s own statements, Plaintiffs alleged that the new mining project would result in continuous light and noise from blasting, increased road traffic, effluent pollution in a nearby creek, and dust pollution in the air. The court found that factual allegations of such particularized harm to nearby property supported a claim for private nuisance and reinstated the claim for an injunction.

* Zaheer Tajani contributed to this alert.