II) Plaintiff Jane moved from Big City to the southern suburbs. She purchased a house on five acres of land. She realized that she had to get used to country living. She missed all of Big City’s everyday conveniences. However, she vowed never to leave her new home and enjoyed the tremendous tranquility of the burbs. She was especially looking forward to using her well-water system of what she thought was the biggest plus, fresh groundwater. Before she moved in, she installed a top of the line filtration system in her new house. Installation of the new well in her mind was extra insurance because a little more than a mile from her home, there was a landfill operated by Big City.
One day while preparing to make a pitcher of fresh lemonade, she noticed something floating in the water. Thinking it was something that fell into the pitcher, she poured the water out and refilled it with fresh water. Carefully examining the pitcher, she noticed that there were a lot more particles floating in the pitcher. Thinking, maybe the particles were as a result of her new filtration system, she called the installation company to test the system. The company indicated that it checked the system and it was working correctly. The company stated that she was not the only customer to have this complaint in the last month or so. The water filter company indicated that they believed contaminants were leaching from the landfill into the freshwater aquifer. With the water filter company’s report in hand, Jane drove to Big City to discuss the situation with her lawyer. She contends she should be able to sue under the Federal environmental laws regarding groundwater contamination.
Case II: Using the IRAC Format answer the following issues:
What is the initial requirement she must meet to file a lawsuit?
What statute(s) apply to this situation?
Who is responsible for the enforcement of the regulations controlling the issues in this case?
Who has a right to file a complaint against the landfill?
Does she have any rights against Big City?
Who should she sue, and why?
The filter company?
The enforcers of the statute?
Can she collect damages?
Under what legal theories?
Is the filter company’s report creditable evidence that the landfill is at fault?
What could the landfill do to prove the discharge is not their fault?
What is the standard measurement for clean water?
If Big City legally shows that the particles are a nuisance but do not violate the law, would that establish a defense to Jane’s lawsuit?
Under what legal theory?