Lawsuit for Alleged Contamination of Well Water by Barn Manure

In Van Brocklin v. Gudema, 50 Ill. App. 2d 20, 199 N.E.2d 457 (1964), manure from the defendant's barn contaminated the plaintiffs' well. For eight months, the plaintiffs were required to get drinking water from a filling station and take sponge baths. The issue considered by the court was "whether the law permits recovery for the elements of inconvenience and discomfort entailed in the temporary loss of a water supply caused by the negligence of another." Van Brocklin, 50 Ill. App. 2d at 27. Finding no Illinois negligence cases on point, the Van Brocklin court considered cases in the arena of nuisance law. The Van Brocklin court quoted Gempp v. Bassham, 60 Ill. App. 84 (1894), for the proposition that " 'where the injury is to physical comfort and results in deprivation of the comfortable enjoyments of a home, the measure of damages is not the depreciation in the rental value of the premises occupied by the plaintiff, but compensation for such physical discomfort, and deprivation of the use and comforts of the home.' " Van Brocklin, 50 Ill. App. 2d at 28, quoting Gempp, 60 Ill. App. at 87.