Nuisance claims are frequently described as a non-trespassory invasion of another’s interest in the use and enjoyment of land. But despite this exclusionary description, in some instances an action can be both a trespass and a nuisance.
A nuisance may arise by causing physical harm to (1) property, such as by the encroachment of a damaging substance or by the property’s destruction or (2) a person on his property from an assault of his senses or by other personal injury.
A nuisance may also arise by emotional harm to a person from the deprivation of the enjoyment of his property through fear, apprehension, or loss of peace of mind. If foul odors, dust, noise, and bright lights are sufficiently extreme, they may also constitute a nuisance. However, a condition that causes mere aesthetic changes to the view, scenery, landscape, or beauty of an area is not a nuisance.
Courts have generally divided actionable nuisances into three classifications: (1) negligent invasion of another’s interests; (2) intentional invasion of another’s interests; or (3) other inappropriate conduct that invades another’s interest (e.g., the illegal sale of controlled substances or the operation of a gambling or prostitution establishment).
Accordingly, proof of negligence is not essential to the imposition of liability for the creation and maintenance of a nuisance. This makes this cause of action very attractive to plaintiffs as a nuisance claim can have the same practical effect as a strict liability claim. Several courts have held that one may create a private nuisance by using property in a way that causes reasonable fear in those who own, lease, or occupy property nearby.
Generally, proof of due care is not a defense because nuisance looks only to effect, not the culpable conduct of the defendant. However, because each classification referenced above concerns the interests “of another”, at least one court has held that a previous owner cannot be liable to a subsequent owner for alleged damages that occurred during its ownership.Do you have questions? You can get our FREE ebook, Environmental Litigation: What Every Attorney and Environmental Professional Needs to Know, just by providing your name and email address at this link. We promise your information won’t be shared with third persons. And if you’d like to speak with me about your case, I welcome your phone call at 972-850-8490. I look forward to speaking with you.
 Id. (citing GTE Mobilnet of S. Tex. Ltd. P’ship v. Pascouet, 61 S.W.3d 599, 615 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2001, pet. denied).
 Id. (citing Allen v. Virginia Hill Water Supply Corp., 609 S.W.2d 633, 636 (Tex. Civ. App.—Tyler 1980, no writ).
 Walton v. Phillips Petroleum Co., 65 S.W.3d 262, 270 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2001, pet. denied).
 Rankin, 266 S.W.3d at 513.
 Bible Baptist Church v. City of Cleburne, 848 S.W.2d 826, 829 (Tex. App.—Waco 1993, writ denied).
 Kane v. Cameron Int’l Corp., 331 S.W.3d 145, 148 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2011, no pet.) (citing Comminge v. Stevenson, 13 S.W. 556, 557 (Tex. 1890)); McMahan v. City of Abilene, 261 S.W. 455, 456 (Tex. Civ. App.—El Paso 1924, writ dism’d w.o.j.).
 See Hill v. Villarreal, 362 S.W.2d 348, 349 (Tex. Civ. App.—Waco 1962, writ ref’d n.r.e.).
 See Hicks v. Humble Oil & Refining Co., 970 S.W.2d 90, 96 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1998, pet. denied).