Estancias Dallas Corp. v. Schultz
500 S.W.2d 217 (1973)

  • Schultz lived next to an apartment complex (with 155 apartments) owned by Estancias. The apartment used a very loud air conditioner. Schultz sued for an injunction on the basis that the noise was a nuisance.
  • The Trial Court found for Schultz. Estancias appealed.
    • Estancias was barred from using their air conditioner, and Schultz was awarded $10k in damages.
  • The Appellate Court affirmed.
    • Estancias unsuccessfully argued that the Trial Court had not applied a balancing test.
      • Using the doctrine of balancing of equities, the Court can consider the injury that will result to the defendant and the public by granting the injunction, and compare that to the injury that would be suffered by the plaintiff by denying the injunction.
        • Also known as the doctrine of comparative injuries.
      • It would have cost Estancias over $150k to install a quieter air conditioner.
  • Courts today would probably not rule this way, they’d weigh the gravity of the harm against the utility costs.
    • See Prah v. Maretti (321 N.W.2d 404 (1982)).