Monday, February 1, 2010

Score One for the Plaintiffs

Won a decision on a Motion to Strike. This action for damages was filed on behalf of a Pawcatuck, CT couple who allege claims for negligence, nuisance (public and private) and negligent infliction of emotional distress, arising out the Oliver Group's use of property for its business, and claims that the Town of Stonington has allowed a nuisance to exist next door to the plaintiffs' home. The couple alleges numerous violations of the law in connection with the parcel next door to their home, including: illegal parking in a residential zone; an unapproved use of the building without the owners applying for or obtaining a variance; an increase in the size of Oliver's building without regard to property line setbacks or required buffers between it and neighboring houses and without zoning approval; excess noise; and business operations without installation or maintenance of an adequate buffer between the properties.

This Memorandum of Decision is the first decision on motions directed to the pleadings. The Oliver Group filed a Motion to Strike the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th counts, which allege claims for public nuisance and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The court denied the defendant's motion, on the grounds that the plaintiffs have sufficiently pleaded the elements of public nuisance ("the court finds that the plaintiffs' allegations could support a public nuisance claim because they allege excessive noise and traffic congestion that affect rights of members of the general public....") as well as the elements of a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress ("the allegations set forth in the plaintiff's complaint could support a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress in that they have alleged that the Oliver Group should have realized that by operating a parking lot in a residential area without a proper buffer would generate excess noise and light that would cause emotional distress to those living in the surrounding area...."). You can read the decision on JD Supra.

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