In an encouraging sign that courts are taking health and safety seriously in the neighborhood context, the D.C. Superior Court has issued an injunction against a man whose smoking fills his neighbors’ home with smoke, which has woken them up at night coughing and subjects their 18-month-old daughter to secondhand smoke, according to the nuisance claim the neighbors filed against the smoker. The Washington Post notes that the suit is part of a growing trend pitting smoking and non-smoking neighbors against each other, and the story cites cases from California and New York that resulted in relief for the victims of smoke pollution.
It’s hard not to sympathize a bit with the defendant, who wants to be left alone to do what he chooses in his home. But, according to the story, he has ignored the neighbors’ pleas to fix cracks in the common wall that create the smoke seepage. The argument that your home is your castle loses its force when what happens in your castle harms those beyond its walls.
You can read the story here.