Laws Governing Use And Impact Of Agricultural Chemicals: Common Law Standards Of Conduct And Theories Of Liability

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Laws Governing Use And Impact Of Agricultural Chemicals: Common Law Standards Of Conduct And Theories Of Liability
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Fact sheet
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University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
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FactSheetFRE-74 September1995LawsGoverningUseandImpactofAgriculturalChemicals: CommonLawStandardsofConductandTheoriesof Liability1 MichaelT.Olexa2Thecommonlawoftortsimposessociety-wide standardsofbehaviordesignedtodeterwrongful, negligent,orunreasonablydangerousconductand compensatevictimsofsuchconduct.Atortisanact oromissionthatisblameworthybecausetheactor omissioniseithercareless,shortsighted,unreasonably dangerous,oragainstalaworapublicpolicy.1A tortisconsideredaprivateorcivilwrongorinjury. Unlikestatutesandregulations,whichoftenprovide specific,technicalguidelinesonhowagricultural chemicalsshouldbeused,thecommonlawismuch broader,addressingthereasonablenessofallaspects oftheuseofagriculturalchemicals.Thissectionis designedtofamiliarizethereaderwiththebasicsof commonlawliabilityformisuseofagricultural chemicals.THELEGALPROCESSApersoninjuredbyactsoromissionsofanother mustfilealawsuitinordertobeawarded compensationbyacourt.Thepersonfilingsucha lawsuitiscalledtheplaintiff.Aplaintiffmustdo severalthingsbeforeacourtwillconsiderhis/her lawsuit.First,s/hemustallegethatthepersonbeing sued,thedefendant,harmedhim/herinsomemanner. Thelawsuitmustalsostateaprincipleoflawand allegethatthedefendantviolatedthatprinciple.The principlemaybeoneormoreofthecommonlaw theoriesofliabilitythatwillbediscussedingreater depthbelow,ormaybeastatutewhichstatesthatthe defendantsconductwasunlawful.2Additionally,the lawsuitmustallegefacts,whichifproven,would demonstratethatthedefendantactedwrongfulor unlawfully,andthattheplaintiffsufferedharmasa result.Theplaintiffwillwinifs/hecanconvincethe judgeorthejuryofthetruthoftheseessentialfacts. Incivilcasesthestandardofproofiswhetherthe factsnecessarytosupportarecoveryareprovenbya preponderanceoftheevidencepresentedincourt. Followingarethecommonlawtheoriesofliability mostrelevanttousersofagriculturalchemicals.The statementsbelowaregeneralizationsaboutthelaw, andthereadershouldunderstandthatthelawmay differfromstatetostate.Anyquestionsaboutthe 1.ThisdocumentisFactSheetFRE-74,aseriesoftheFoodandResourceEconomicsDepartment,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService, InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida.Firstpublished:November1991.Daterevised:September1995. 2.MichaelT.Olexa,ProfessorandAgriculturalLawSpecialist,FoodandResourceEconomicsDepartment,CooperativeExtensionService, InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida,GainesvilleFL32611. Thisdocumentisdesignedtoprovideaccurate,currentandauthoritativeinformationonthesubject.However,sincethelaws,administrativerulings, andcourtdecisionsonwhichitisbasedaresubjecttoconstantrevision,portionsofthispublicationcouldbecomeoutdatedatanytime.This publicationisdistributedwiththeunderstandingthattheauthorsarenotengagedinrenderinglegalorotherprofessionaladvice,andtheinformation containedhereinshouldnotberegardedasasubstituteforprofessionaladvice.Forthesereasons,theutilizationofthesematerialsbyanyperson constitutesanagreementtoholdharmlesstheauthors,theInstituteofFoodanAgriculturalSciences,andtheUniversityofFloridaforanyliability claims,damages,orexpensesthatmaybeincurredbyanypersonasaresultofreferencetoorrelianceontheinformationcontainedinthis publication. TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/ChristineTaylorStephens,Dean

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CommonLawStandardsofConductandTheoriesofLiability Page2lawandanydoubtsabouthowthelawaffectsthe reader'soperationshouldbeaddressedtoan attorney.NEGLIGENCENegligenceisthetheorymostwidelyusedto imposeliabilityforunintentionalacts.Any unintentionalactoromissionthatcreatesan unreasonableriskofharmtoanotherconstitutes negligence.Ifanegligentactresultsinharmto another,acourtwillawarddamagestotheinjured party.ElementsoftheClaimTheplaintiffmustprovefourelementstoprevail inanegligencelawsuit:duty,breach,causation,and damages.DutyFirst,theplaintiffmustshowthedefendantowes adutyofcaretowardtheplaintiff.Adutyofcares existswheneverthedefendantoughttoforeseethat thereisariskofharmtoanotherpersonorto property.Forexample,ifareasonablepersoncould foreseethattheuseofanagriculturalchemicalcould resultindamagetoaneighbor'scrops,thentheuser hasadutytoavoidtheriskbytakingallreasonable precautions.BreachWhenadutyofcareexists,thedefendantmust actreasonablyinlightoftheforeseeablerisk.Ifthe defendantdoesnotactreasonably,thedutyofcareis breached.Thetesttodeterminewhetherthe defendant'sactionswereabreachofanexistingduty istoaskwhatareasonable,prudentpersonwould havedoneunderlikecircumstances.This determinationismadebyajury,orifthecaseistried withoutajury,bythejudge.Forexample,a defendantappliedanherbicideunderwindy conditions.Theresultantdrifthascauseddamageto theneighbor'scrops.Ifareasonablepersonunder similarconditionswouldnothaveappliedthe herbicide,thenthedefendanthasbreachedhis/her dutyofcarebyusingthechemical. Thereasonablepersonstandardbecomesmore strictifthedefendanthasspecialexpertise.Theduty ofcareincreaseswiththelevelofexpertise.For example,aplantpathologistrecommendinga pesticidemightbeheldtothestandardofcareofa reasonablyprudentplantpathologistofsimilar trainingandinasimilarlocality.Thedetermination ofhowasimilarexpertmightactunderthe circumstancesisstillmadebythejuryorthejudge; however,inthisinstance,thejuryisaidedbyexpert testimonyfromothersinthefield.CauseTorecoverdamagesfromthedefendantina negligenceaction,theplaintiffmusthavesuffered someactualinjurytopersonorpropertythatwas causedbythedefendant'sbreachofthedutyto exercisereasonablecare.Oftencausationisasimple determination;forexample,whenanaerialapplicator isobservedtreatingthewrongfield.Themore remotetheharmfromthenegligentact,themore difficultitistoprovecausation.Casesthatinvolve tracingchemicalpollutantstotheirsourceoften presenthighlytechnicalcausationproblems. Anothercausationissueariseswhenthereismore thanonecontributingcausetoaninjury.Thekeyto whetherliabilitywillbeimposedinthese circumstancesisforeseeability.Ifharmisreadily foreseeablefromthedefendant'sact,butother interveningactscontributetotheinjury,the defendantisstillliableiftheinterveningactsare foreseeable.However,theoriginalactmuststill directlycontributetotheinjury.Forexample,ifa farmerknowsorreasonablyshouldbeexpectedto knowthatacertainchemicalisunreasonably dangeroustoneighboringcropsandislikelytodrift ifappliedbyair,thefarmerwillprobablynotbe relievedofliabilityifacontractornegligentlyapplied thepesticide,compoundingthedamage.Thedamage wasforeseeabletothefarmer.Inthissituation,the plaintiffcouldsueboththefarmerandthecontractor fortheirrespectiveresponsibilityforthedamage,or theplaintiffcouldsueeitheroneindividuallyforthe entireamount.3DamagesFinally,theplaintiffmustprovethatactual damagesoccurredasaresultofthedefendant'sacts oromissions.Inotherwords,ifsomeone's admittedlynegligentbehaviorharmsnoone,then thereisnoclaimfornegligence.Theseconceptsof dutyofcare,breachofduty,causation,anddamages aredevelopedfurtherinthepublications Agricultural ChemicalUseandLiabiltyforWaterPollution and

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CommonLawStandardsofConductandTheoriesofLiability Page3LiabilityforDamageCausedbyAgriculturalChemical Drift.CaseExampleInGonzalezv.Virginia-CarolinaChemical Company ,239F.Supp.567(D.S.C.1965),apilotwas injuredinanairplanecrashwhileapplyingachemical dust-defoliant.Theplaintiffwasapre-medical studentwhohadtwoyearsofapplicationexperience. Hefollowedalltherecommendedproceduresbythe company.Onhisthirdtrip,hewasovercomebythe odorofthedefoliantanditstoxicingredients.Before hecouldreturntotheairport,helostcontrolofthe planeandhitawirecausingtheplanetoslowdown, stall,anddivenosefirstintotheground.Upon impact,theplaneflippedandthrewthepesticide compoundontotheplaintiff.Therewasnothingon thelabelofthedefoliantthatsaiditwaspoisonous. Thedoctoratthehospitalcouldnotfindtheproduct listedonanyrecordofpoisons,buthefoundthe ingredientspoisonous. Inthiscase,thecourtfoundthatthe manufactureroweda duty totheplaintifftomake propertests,giveadequatewarning,and,ingeneral, protectthepublicfrompotentialdangersarisingout ofthemanufacture,sale,anduseofthepesticide. The breach occurredwhenthemanufacturerfailedto doalltheabove.Areasonablemanufacturerwould havedoneso.Themanufacturer'sbreachwasthe proximate cause oftheplaintiff'sinjuries.The toxicityofthechemicalcausedtheplaintifftoloose controloftheplaneandconsequentlycrash.The plaintiffsufferedactualdamagesasaresultofthe defendant'snegligence,andwasawarded$40,000in damages. Thiscaselawexamplealsoinvolvedotherissues ofnegligencesuchasnegligenceperseandstrict liabilitywhichisdiscussedinthefollowingsections. Thiscaseisanexampleofhowadefendantcanbe heldliableondifferentlegaltheories.Itisimportant tonotethatunlessthereisafederalorstatestatute thatexplicitlyprohibitscommonlawactions,an individualcansueundercommonlawnegligence.NEGLIGENCEPERSEInacasewhereanactionthatresultsinalawsuit alsoviolatesastatute,thecourtwillusuallyregard theviolationaloneasevidenceofnegligence.This doctrineisknownasnegligenceperseorstatutory negligencebecausetheactionisaviolationofthe statute.Negligenceperseisapplied,however,only ifthedamagecomplainedofinthelawsuitisofthe typeintendedtobepreventedbythestatute,andthe plaintiffisamemberoftheclassofpersonsintended tobeprotected. Theusualrationaleforapplyingthedoctrineof negligenceperseisthatcourtswillviewthestatuteas settingastandardofconductforthoseaffected,and deviationfromthestandardisviewedasanegligent act.Thus,thedoctrineofnegligenceperserelieves theplaintiffofhavingtoofferspecificevidenceof negligenceifaviolationofthestatutecanbeshown. Forexample,astatutemakesitunlawfultodisposeof pesticidecontainerswithouttriplerinsingthemfirst. Itdoesnotmatteriftheindividualchargedwith violatingthestatutecandemonstratethatthousands ofothershavedisposedofchemicalswithouttriple rinsing.Ifadefendanthasviolatedthestatute,then s/heisnegligentperse. Theconverse,however,isnottrue.Evidenceof compliancewithastatuteorevidencethatnolaws werebrokenisnotproofthatthedefendantwasnot negligent,unlessthestatutesoprovides.Thus,ifa personviolatesastatute,thepersonwillbedeemed negligentperse,whereasifapersonfollowsastatute, thepersonmaystillbedeemednegligentunder commonlaw.Intheheavilyregulatedfieldof agriculturalchemicaluse,farmersandapplicators seekingtoavoidliabilitymustbecertainthatno statutesarebeingviolated.Further,theymustnot believethatcompliancewithregulationsrelievesthem fromtakingadditionalprecautionarystepswhen warrantedbythecircumstances. Therearelimitationsonnegligenceperse.One suchlimitationiswhetherthepartyasserting negligenceperseisamemberofaclassthatismeant tobeprotected. Forexample,Congressenactedthe FederalInsecticide,Fungicide,andRodenticideAct (FIFRA)withtheintentionofprotectingthepublic asawhole.Thusanindividualcouldnotbringa lawsuitunderFIFRAandunderthetheoryof negligencepersebecauseFIFRAdoesnotcreatea privatecauseofaction.DefensesSeveraldefensesareavailabletoadefendantina negligencesuit.Inmostcases,ifthedefendantcan establishthattheplaintiffwasalsonegligentandthat theplaintiff'sownnegligencecontributedtothe plaintiff'sharm,thentheplaintiff'sawardwillbe

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CommonLawStandardsofConductandTheoriesofLiability Page4reducedaccordingtothedegreeoftheplaintiff's negligence.Thisdoctrineisknownascomparative negligence. Similarly,ifthedefendantcanshowthatathird person'snegligencecontributedtotheplaintiff's injury,thedefendantshouldseektojointhethird personinthelawsuit.Inmostcases,theoriginal defendant'sliabilitywillbereducedbythepercentage bywhichthethirdperson'snegligencecontributedto theplaintiff'sharm. Thedefenseofassumptionoftheriskisalso availableinsomestates.Thisdoctrinepermitsthe defendanttoshowthattheplaintiffknewoftherisks andvoluntarilywentaheadwiththeact.Anexample mightbewhereasellerofapesticideapplication devicecanestablishthattheplaintiffknewand understoodtherisksinherentinthedevice,yetused thatdevicecausinginjurytotheplaintifforothers.DamagesThoseinjuredbynegligentactsareentitledto recovernotonlyactualdamages(thecostoftheharm actuallysuffered)butalsodamagesforlostwages, painandsuffering,thelossofthecompanionshipof aspouse,etc.Punitivedamages,ordamagesdesigned topunish,arealsoavailableifthedefendantacted willfullyorinrecklessdisregardoftheplaintiff's interests.NEGLIGENCEASANELEMENTOFOTHER CAUSESOFACTIONNegligenceisalsoanelementinothertypesof lawsuits.Forexample,courtwilloftensaythatthe plaintiffmustprovenegligenceinaunintentional trespassaction.Thistypeofnegligenceisdiscussed below.RespondeatSuperiorThedoctrineofrespondeatsuperiorholdsan employerliableforthetorts(civilwrongs)of employeesconductedwithinthescopeof employment.4Generally,anemployee'sactivitiesare withinthescopeofemploymentiftheactionsareof thetypewhichtheemployeewashiredtoperform, occurwhenandwheretheemployeewassupposedto beworking,andthepurposeofwhichwastobenefit theemployer.5Animportantexceptiontothis doctrineisthatasageneralrule,theemployerisnot responsibleforthetortsofanindependentcontractor. However,anexceptiontotheexceptionisthatthe personwhohiresanindependentcontractorto performaninherentlydangerousactivitymaystillbe liable.Numerouscourtshaveheldthataerial applicationofpesticidesisan"inherentlydangerous" activity.6StrictLiabilityStrictliabilityimposesthehigheststandardof care,holdingpersonsliablefordamagesresulting fromtheiractionswithoutproofoffault.Unlike negligence,inastrictliabilitysuit,courtswillnot considerwhetherthedefendantactedreasonably. Theywillonlyconsiderwhethertheactivitycaused theharmcomplainedof.Thebasisofstrictliability isapolicydecisionbythecourtsorbythelegislature thatthepersonconductingthedangerousactivity shouldberesponsibleforharmcausedtoinnocent personsbythatactivity,regardlessoffault. Courtsofmoststateswillapplystrictliabilityif theactivitybeingconductedbythedefendantis "abnormallydangerous"or"ultrahazardous."The mostwidelyaccepteddefinitionofan"abnormally dangerous"activityisthatoftheAmericanLaw Institute'sRestatement(Second)ofTorts .The Restatement setsforthamulti-factortestforcourtsto apply: (a)existenceofahighdegreeofriskofsome harmtotheperson,land,orchattelsof others; (b)likelihoodthattheharmthatresultsfrom itwillbegreat; (c)inabilitytoeliminatetheriskbythe exerciseofreasonablecare; (d)extenttowhichtheactivityisnota matterofcommonusage; (e)inappropriatenessoftheactivitytothe placewhereitiscarriedon;and (f)extenttowhichitsvaluetothe communityisoutweighedbyits dangerousattributes.7Thecommonlawofthevariousstatesdifferswith respecttowhichactivitiesareconsideredabnormally dangerousandsubjecttostrictliability.Forthemost part,generators,storers,andtransportersof hazardouswastesarestrictlyliableforinjuryresulting fromhandlingthewaste.InOklahoma,Washington, andOregon,aerialapplicationofpesticidesand herbicidesissubjecttostrictliability.InLouisiana,

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CommonLawStandardsofConductandTheoriesofLiability Page5courtswillapplystrictliabilitytobothaerialand groundapplication. Animportantlimitationonthedoctrineofstrict liabilityisthatthedefendantisliableonlyforinjury causedbythoseaspectsoftheactivitythatare abnormallydangerous.Therefore,apersonengaged inanabnormallydangerousactivitywillnotbestrictly liableforanyandallharmresultingfromthe operation,butonlythoseinjuriescausedbythe dangerinherentintheactivity. Forexample,a transporterofhazardouswastewouldnotbeheld strictlyliableforstrikingapedestrian,butmightbe heldstrictlyliablefordamagecausedbythespill. Strictliabilitymaybeimposedinotherways.The legislature,inregulatingactivity,maydecidethat strictliabilityiswarrantedinitsenforcement.For example,somestategroundwaterpollution regulationsprovidethatapolluterissubjectto penaltieswhetherornotthepolluterwasatfaultin anyway.Inalawsuitfordamagesarisingfromthe sameincident,thecourtmaylookattheviolationof theregulationasnegligenceperse,andineffecthold thepolluterstrictlyliable.8Strictliabilitycanalsobe imposedinnuisanceandtrespasscases,asdiscussed below.TRESPASSTrespasshastraditionallybeenthemostwidely usedtheoryforrecoveryfordamagetoproperty. Trespassisanunauthorizedentryontotheproperty ofanotherbyanyphysical,tangibleagency.Agency canincludefineparticulatematter,liquiddroplets, andevengases.Thecourtshavedividedtrespassinto twocategories,intentionalandunintentional.IntentionalTrespassIftheauthorizedentryisintentional,the defendantisliableregardlessofwhetherthetrespass actuallycausedanyharmandalmostregardlessofthe defendant'sreasonorjustificationfortheentry.The plaintiffisentitletoatleastnominalmonetary damagesforintentionaltrespassandmayobtainan injunctionagainstanythreatenedorcontinuing trespass. Agriculturalchemicalusecouldresultinliability fortrespassifthechemicals,theirresidues,or containersbecomedepositedonanother'sland throughdumping,drift,runoff,incineration,orother means.Toconstituteintentionaltrespass,itisnot necessaryforthedefendanttointendthatthe chemicalenterontotheplaintiff'sland,onlythatthe actionsthatresultinthetrespassareintentional.For example,intentionaldisposalofchemicalsortheir containersinamannerthateventuallyresultsin trespassconstitutesintentionaltrespass.UnintentionalTrespassIfthetrespassisunintentional,thedefendantis liableonlyforharmcausedbynegligentorreckless acts,orinsomecasesbyabnormallydangerous activities.Ifthedefendantisinvolvedinan abnormallydangerousactivity,thecourtsofmany stateswillapplystrictliabilityandtheplaintiffwill notberequiredtoprovenegligenceinorderto recover.9Examplesofunintentionaltrespassinvolving agriculturalchemicalswouldbewhentheft, vandalism,oranaturaldisastercausechemicalsto becomedepositedonanother'sland.Inthesecases, thedefendantwillbeliableonlyifhefailedtotake reasonableprecautionstoguardagainstsuchan occurrence.However,ifthecourtsofthestatehave characterizedpesticidehandlingasanabnormally dangerousactivity,orastateorfederalstatutehas createdstrictliability,thedefendantwouldbeliable forthetrespassregardlessofwhetherthedefendant wasatfaultinanyway.NUISANCEWhiletrespassinvolvesviolationofanother's propertyrights,nuisanceconsistsofuseofone'sown propertyinamannerthatcausesinjurytoothers. Nuisancehastraditionallybeenthemostwidelyused theoryinenvironmentalpollutionactions.Nuisances arecategorizedaseitherpublicorprivate,depending onwhetherthenuisanceaffectstherightsofthe publicortherightsofanindividualexclusively.The practicaldifferencebetweenpublicandprivate nuisancesisthatpublicnuisanceactionscanbe broughtbyapublicofficialonbehalfofthepublicat large,andthatcertaindefenses,suchasdelayonthe partoftheplaintiffinbringingtheaction,arenot availabletothedefendant.10Inmanystates,certain typesofpublicnuisancesareconsideredcriminalacts. Anexampleofapublicnuisanceinvolving agriculturalchemicalswouldbewherestorage,use,or disposalhasasignificanteffectuponthewaterquality ofapublicwatersource,therebyinterferingwiththe

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CommonLawStandardsofConductandTheoriesofLiability Page6publicrighttosafedrinkingwater.Apublicofficial orindividualsjoinedinaclassactionwouldbeable toobtainaninjunctionagainsttheactivitycreating thenuisance.Anadjacentlandownermayrecover damagesfromthedefendantif,inaadditiontothe interferencewiththelandowner'srighttosafe drinkingwater,thelandownersufferedthelossof livestockfromthedefendant'sactions.ElementsofaNuisanceActionAprivatenuisanceisasustantialinterferencewith another'suseandenjoymentofland.Nophysical invasionisrequiredasintrespass.Allthatis requiredinnuisanceisasustantialinterferencewith thepossessor'senjoymentofland,suchasexposing thelandownertounduenoise,unpleasantodors,or anunsightlyappearance.Toconstituteprivate nuisance,theinvasionmustbewrongful.Aninvasion maybewrongfulintwoways.First,itmaybe intentionalandunreasonable.Theunreasonable element,absentinthetrespassaction,allowsthe courtstobalancethesocialvalueoftheoffending activityagainstinjurytotheplaintiff.Second,the invasionmaybewrongfulbecauseitresultsfrom negligence,recklessness,orabnormallydangerous activities.However,inmanystatestherequirement thatthenuisancemustbewrongfulisnotstrictly followed.Manycourtswillfindanuisancefromthe merefactthatdamageoccurred. Apossessoroflandwhohassufferedasubstantial interferencewithhisuseandenjoymentmayseekto obtainbothmonetarydamagesandaninjunction againstthedefendant.Indeterminingaremedy,the courtmayconsiderboththevalueoftheoffending activitytosocietyandthegravityoftheinterestthat havebeeninvaded.Becausethisbalancingtestallows acourttoconsidertheworthofthedefendant's activity,aplaintiffwillnormallyprefertobringa trespassaction.Nuisanceactionsareusuallybrought incaseswhereaplaintiffcannotestablishaphysical trespass. Forexample ,ifimproperpesticideuseresultedin potentiallydangerousoroffensiveodorsbeingcarried ontoadjacentproperty,thepossessorcouldsuein trespasschargingthattheodors,whichconsistof moleculesoftheodor-producingsubstance,constitute aphysicalentry.Ifthereisanydoubtastowhether thecourtwillconsidertheodoraphysicalentry,then theplaintiffwillalsosueforaprivatenuisance, chargingthattheodorsconstituteaninvasionofthe plaintiff'srighttouseandenjoymentoftheland.In anuisancecase,thecourtwillalsoweighthe reasonablenessofthedefendant'sspraying.However, thisrulewilldifferifthecourtdeterminesthe defendantisengagedinanabnormallydangerous activityorthattheconditioncausingthenuisanceis abnormallydangerous.11RIGHT-TO-FARMLAWSInalmostallstates,12limitedprotectionfrom nuisanceactionsisgiventofarmersbystate"right-tofarm"statutes.Theeffectofmostofthesestatutesis toallowfarmerstoassertasadefensetoanuisance actionthefactthatthefarmwasinoperationandthe conditionscomplainedofwereinexistencepriorto theplaintiff'scomingtothearea.Thisdefense, however,islimited.Mostright-to-farmstatuteshave noeffectontheenforceabilityoffederalorstateantipollutionlaws,orareconditionaloncompliancewith thoselaws.Instateswherethedefenseisconditional oncompliancewithanti-pollutionlaws,theexistence ofalawforbiddingairorwaterpollutionwillrender thedefenseinapplicableincaseswherethenuisance consistsofairorwaterpollution.Further,the defenseislimitedtonuisanceactionsandhasno effectonothercausesofactionsuchastrespassor negligence.Itisimportanttorecognizethatthe statutesaredirectedprimarilyasadefenseto complaintsaboutodor,noise,andothercommon annoyancesresultingfromtheconductofagricultural activitiesandhavelittleornoapplicationincases whereactualharmorpollutioniscausedby agriculturalchemicals.Thereasonforthisisthat waterandchemicalpollutionpresentthepossibilityof broadpublicendangerment.INJUNCTIONSANDOTHERFORMS OFEQUITABLERELIEFEquitablereliefmeansaremedyimposedbya courttocompensateaplaintiffwhenmoneydamages areinappropriateorinsufficient.Usuallyequitable reliefwillconsistofanordertothedefendanttostop anactivity,aninjunction,althoughitmayalsoconsist ofanordertoundertakeanactivitytocorrector compensateforapreviousharm.Equitablereliefis mostcommoninnuisanceandtrespassactions. Beforeacourtwillgrantequitablerelief,itmust determinethatmoneydamagesareinadequateor unavailabletocompensatetheplaintiffforthetypeof harmsuffered.Situationswheremoneydamagesmay beinadequateincludewhenthenuisancewillcause irreparableharmifcontinued,orifthereiscauseto believethattheharmwillcontinueorreoccurafter

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CommonLawStandardsofConductandTheoriesofLiability Page7theawardofmoneydamages,resultinginfuture lawsuits. Inorderforacourttograntinjunctiverelief,the plaintiffmustshowthatthedefendant'sactivityis unreasonableatthetimeandplacethattheinjunction issought.Inmakingthisdetermination,acourtwill consider thehardshipthatgrantinganinjunction wouldhaveonthedefendant,alongwithbroader societalissues,suchasthevalueoftheactivitytothe communityortheharmposedbytheactivitytothe community.13Forexample,anongoingagricultural operationthatpollutesgroundwatermightbeshut downbyacourtifitfindsthattheharmthatis causedoutweighsthepotentialhardshipsonthe defendant. Factorsthatcouldbeconsideredinweighingthe hardshipsonthedefendantincludewhethertheland hasvalueforotherusesandtheextentofthe defendant'sinvestment.However,acourtwillnot balancethehardshipsifitdeterminesthatthe defendant'sactionswerewillfuloragainstan assertionofrightbytheplaintiff.Anexampleofan actionagainstanassertionofrightwouldbewhere theplaintiffadvisesthedefendantthatthe defendant'sactivitiesmustnottrespassonthe plaintiff'sproperty,yetthetrespassnevertheless occurs.STRICTPRODUCTSLIABILITYOthercausesofactionexisttoenableaperson harmedbyanagriculturalchemicaltorecoverfrom themanufacturer,distributor,orselleroftheproduct. Althoughamanufacturercanalwaysbesuedfor negligentacts,Americancourts,inordertoprotect consumers,haveadoptedothertheoriesallowing recoveryfordefectiveorineffectiveproductswithout theneedtodemonstrateaspecificnegligentact.The doctrineofstrictproductsliabilityisthemostwidely used. Thecourtsofmoststateshaveadoptedtherule ofstrictproductliabilitysetforthbytheAmerican LawInstitute'sRestatement(Second)ofTorts .14UndertheRestatement,ifaproductis"defective'and "unreasonablydangerous,"apartyinjuredbythe productcanrecoverwithoutshowingproofof negligence.Inactionsfordamageswhereafarm chemicalhascausedphysicalharm,thecaseoften turnsonthemeaningoftheterms"defective"and "unreasonablydangerous."Thecommentstothe Restatementstatethataproductisdefectiveifitis onethatis"unreasonablydangerous"totheconsumer atthetimeitleavestheseller'shands.15The commentsalsosaythatinordertopreventthe productfrombeingunreasonablydangerous,"the sellermayberequiredtogivedirectionsorawarning onthecontainerastoitsuse."16Furthermore,the commentsstatethatmanufacturers,distributors,or sellershaveadutytowarnofdangerousingredients whosedangerisnotgenerallyknowniftheyknowor reasonablyshouldknowofitspresenceintheproduct andofitsdangerouscharacteristics.17Thetheoryofstrictproductsliabilityissimilarto thetheoryofnegligenceinthatthereisadutyto warnagainstforeseeabledangersandtheinjured partyhastheburdenofprovingthatthesellerwas,in effect,negligentinfailingtowarn.Thepractical differenceisthatthedefensethattheuserofan agriculturalchemicalwasalsonegligentisnot availabletothedefendant.Thetheoryofstrict productsliabilityhasoftenbeenusedincaseswhere agriculturalchemicalsdamagecropsorareineffective, causingthecropstobelostorreduced.BREACHOFWARRANTYAnalternativetostrictproductsliabilityincases whereagriculturalchemicalsareharmfultocropsor ineffectiveisanactionforbreachofwarranty.An actionforbreachofwarrantyisbasedonthefailure ofaproducttoperformaspromised.Assuch,itis anactionforbreachofcontract,ratherthananaction basedonacivilwrongor"tort,"althoughawrongful actmaybeinvolved.Recoveryislimitedtodamage totheproductitself,lostprofit,andconsequential economiclossesarisingfromthefailureofthe producttoperform.Further,everypersoninthe marketingchain,fromthemanufacturertothe ultimateseller,isliable,whetherornotnegligenceis provenagainstthem.DEFINITIONS,ABBREVIATIONS ANDACRONYMS CitationDefinitionsEtseq. :andthefollowing Id :thesame;usedtoindicateareference previouslymade. Infra :within;usedtoindicateareferencemade inalaterpartofthepaper. Supra :above;usedtoindicateareferencemade inapreviouspartofthepaper.

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CommonLawStandardsofConductandTheoriesofLiability Page8DefinitionsActualDamages --Theamountawardedtoa plaintiffincompensationoftheplaintiff'sactual andreallossorinjury. CommonLaw --Itisabodyoflawthatdevelops andderivesthroughjudicialdecisions,as distinguishedfromlegislativeenactments. Enjoin --Torequireaperson,bywritof injunction,toperform,ortoabstainordesist from,someact. Injunctions --Acourtorderprohibitingsomeone fromdoingsomespecifiedactorcommanding someonetoundosomewrongorinjury. Inherentlydangerous --Dangerinheringinan instrumentalityorconditionitselfatalltimes,so astorequirespecialprecautionstopreventinjury; notdangerarisingfrommerecasualorcollateral negligenceofotherswithrespecttounder particularcircumstances. NominalDamages --Thetriflingsumawardedto aplaintiffinanaction,wherethereisno substantiallossorinjurytobecompensated,but stillthelawrecognizesatechnicalinvasionofhis rightsorabreachofthedefendant'sduty. PunitiveDamages --Damagesthatareaboveand beyondthatwhichwouldcompensatetheplaintiff forhisloss.Theyarebasedonthepublicpolicy ofpunishingadefendantwhoactedwillfully, maliciously,orfraudulently. StatutoryLaw --Thebodyoflawcreatedbyacts ofthelegislatureincontrasttoconstitutionaland commonlaw. Definitionsaretakenfrom Black'sLawDictionary 1990edition.AbbreviationsC.F.R.:CodeofFederalRegulations U.S.C.:UnitedStatesCodeAcronymListBMP-BestManagementPractices CERCLA-ComprehensiveEnvironmental Response,Compensation,andLiabilityAct CZMA-CoastalZoneManagementAct DOT-DepartmentofTransportation EPA-EnvironmentalProtectionAgency ESA-EndangeredSpeciesAct FAA-FederalAviationAdministration FACT-Food,Agriculture,Conservation,and TradeAct FDA-FoodandDrugAdministration FFDCA-FederalFood,Drug,andCosmeticAct FIFRA-FederalInsecticide,Fungicide,and RodenticideAct IPM-IntegratedPestManagement MCL-MaximumContaminantLevel MCLG-MaximumContaminantLevelGoals NPDES-NationalPollutionDischarge EliminationSystem OSHA-OccupationalSafetyandHealthAct PPE-PersonalProtectiveEquipment RCRA-ResourceConservationandRecovery Act RCWP-RuralCleanWaterProgram REI-Restricted-EntryInterval SARA-SuperfundAmendmentsand ReauthorizationAct TPQ-ThresholdPlanningQuantity USDA-UnitedStatesDepartmentofAgriculture WPS-WorkerProtectionStandardACKNOWLEDGEMENTSTheauthorisindebtedtolegalresearchersSusan Kubar,ToniCunninghamandPatrickMeriwetherof theUniversityofFloridaCollegeofLawandthose stateandfederalagencypersonnelwhogaveoftheir timeandadviceinthepreparationofthispublication. Thispublicationissupportedinpartbyagrant fromtheNationalAgriculturalPesticideImpact AssessmentProgram(NAPIAP)oftheUnitedStates DepartmentofAgriculture.1.ThegeneraldiscussionofthelawoftortsthatfollowscanbefoundingreaterdetailinProsserandKeeton,Torts ,5thed.(1984). Becausemostofthepropositionsoflawcontainedinthissectionaresogenerallyaccepted,authoritywillnotbecitedunless necessary. 2.See infra textthisdocument.

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CommonLawStandardsofConductandTheoriesofLiability Page93.See MichaelT.Olexa,AgriculturalChemicalUseandLiabilityforWaterPollution ,notes13-16andaccompanyingtext. 4.See ProsserandKeeton,supra note1,at502. 5.Id 6.Id .at512-15.See also MichaelT.Olexa,LiabilityforDamageCausedbyAgriculturalChemicalDrift ,notes11-29and accompanyingtext. 7.AmericanLawInstitute,Restatement(Second)ofTorts 8.See ProsserandKeeton,supra note1,at227. 9.See Loev.Lenhardt,362P.2d312,316(Or.1961). 10.1WilliamH.Rogers,Jr.,EnvironmentalLaw:AirandWater 34(1986). 11.Restatement(Second)ofTorts ,supra note7,,whichisfollowedinmanyjurisdictions,statesthat:"Oneissubjecttoliability foraprivatenuisanceif,butonlyif,hisconductisalegalcauseofaninvasionofanother'sinterestintheprivateuseandenjoyment ofland,andtheinvasioniseither: (a)intentionalandunreasonable,or (b)unintentionalandotherwiseactionableundertherulescontrollingliabilityfornegligentorrecklessconduct,orforabnormally dangerousconditionsoractivities. 12.Theonlystatethatdoesnothavearight-to-farmstatuteisSouthDakota. 13.See ProsserandKeeton,supra note1,at631-32. 14.Restatement(Second)ofTorts ,supra note7,A.See also AmericanLawInstitute,Restatement(Third)ofTorts:Products Liability ,TentativeDraftNo.1(April12,1994). 15.Id .atCommentg. 16.Id .atCommentj. 17.Id