Fisherman's Lawsuit for Polluting the Water Example Case

In Carson v. Hercules Powder Co., 240 Ark. 887, 402 S.W.2d 640 (Ark. 1966), a licensed commercial fisherman brought an action against a powder company for injunctive relief and damages. The commercial fisherman had permission of the riparian owners of the land to fish a thirty-mile stretch of Bayou Meto, a non navigable stream. The fisherman commercially sold the fish. See 402 S.W.2d at 641. The fisherman claimed that the powder company, in the operation of its plant, had polluted the stream by discharging into it phenolic materials that killed fish, created a rotten egg odor, and made the fish inedible and unsalable. See id. The Supreme Court of Arkansas held that the powder company was liable to the fisherman. The supreme court concluded that even though the powder company corrected this condition, the powder company was liable for damages for loss of profits and damage to the fisherman's business. The supreme court reasoned that the fisherman had a substantial investment in a business and that it was his only means of livelihood. Therefore, by polluting the water, the powder company prevented the operation of this business, so it became directly liable for any damage to his business and loss of profits. See id. at 642.