Maddox v. International Paper Co., Civil Action No. 297.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Western District of Louisiana
Writing for the CourtMadison, Madison & Files, of Bastrop, La., and Dan W. Stewart, Jr., of Minden, La., for defendant
Citation47 F. Supp. 829
PartiesMADDOX v. INTERNATIONAL PAPER CO. et al.
Docket NumberCivil Action No. 297.
Decision Date10 December 1942

47 F. Supp. 829

MADDOX
v.
INTERNATIONAL PAPER CO. et al.

Civil Action No. 297.

District Court, W. D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division.

December 10, 1942.


A. S. Drew, of Minden, La., for plaintiff.

Madison, Madison & Files, of Bastrop, La., and Dan W. Stewart, Jr., of Minden, La., for defendant.

PORTERIE, District Judge.

At the conclusion of this case the court, giving reasons at the time, orally ruled on practically all general principles involved, deciding the main issues, and left for determination from the record and by help from the briefs the amount that the plaintiff was to be allowed as damages.

47 F. Supp. 830

The court particularly refused to grant the injunction sought by the plaintiff because (a) the plaintiff has a full and adequate remedy at law and is not in need of recourse, for his complete protection, to the equitable writ of injunction, and (b) the court was impressed with the sincere, continued and costly effort of the defendant company to prevent the pollution of the waters of Bodcaw Bayou.

This oral ruling by the court on the refusal to grant the writ, definitely taken at the time, is now ratified as a part of this written opinion.

The court also asked counsel for plaintiff to compose his brief in the judicially declarative form, so as to relieve the court from the labor of a meticulous reading of the record; and this explains, if it does not pardon, the use in this opinion by the court of much of the sequence and the content of plaintiff's brief.

This suit was originally filed in the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court in the Parish of Bossier, and was removed to this court on motion of the defendant.

The petition of the plaintiff alleges certain damage to his fishing business caused by the pollution of Bodcaw Bayou in Bossier Parish, Louisiana; alleges further that the pollution was caused by the waste matter from the defendant's mill at Springhill, Louisiana, being dumped into the stream. The defendant is the operator of a large paper, pulp and board mill at Springhill, some thirty miles north of plaintiff's place of business.

This is a tort action, based on Article 2315 of the Civil Code of Louisiana.

The title to wild life, including animal, fish and fowl, is under control of the State, and is not susceptible of private ownership. Act 68 of 1932, Sec. 2; Pavel et al. v. Pattison, D.C., 24 F.Supp. 915; Alfred Oliver & Co. v. Board of Com'rs of Orleans Levee Dist., 169 La. 438, 125 So. 441. In this last case the petition of plaintiff disclosed no cause of action, as defendant was an agency of the State and "the state had the right to interfere with the exercise of this privilege fishing, as for instance, as was the case here, in the exercise of its police power, to save a populous city from inundation, or for any other cause that it deemed sufficient." 125 So. at page 442.

It may be stated as a general rule that in tort actions a recovery may be had for loss of profits, provided their loss is the proximate result of defendant's wrong and they can be shown with reasonable certainty.

In commerce, profits mean the advance in the price of goods sold beyond the cost of purchase. In distinction from the wages of labor, they are understood to imply the net return to capital or stock employed, after deducting all the expenses, including not only the wages of those employed by the capitalist, but also of the capitalist himself for superintending the employment of his capital stock. Des Allemands Lumber Co. v. Morgan City Timber Co., 117 La. 1, 41 So. 332.

Loss of profits may be recovered as an element of damage both in cases sounding in tort and in cases predicated on a breach of contract, but the damage must be shown with some degree of legal certainty, and cannot be left to mere conjecture. Shreveport Laundries v. Red Iron Drilling Co., La.App., 192 So. 895; Tidwell v. Meyer Bros., 160 La. 778, 107 So. 571; Doriocourt v. Lacroix, 29 La.Ann. 286; Kelly & Son v. Yellow Cab Co., 5 La.App. 69; Horrell v. Gulf & Valley Cotton Oil Co., 16 La. App. 90, 133 So. 394.

The facts of this case preponderate in favor of the plaintiff, and are as follows:

The plaintiff, who was formerly a member of the Shreveport Fire Department, moved to his present location on Bodcaw Bayou in 1923, at which time he had no funds and borrowed sufficient money to start a fishing business at that location. As time went along his business progressed and increased; he bought numerous camp houses, picnic grounds, sheds and boat landings, built and constructed boats, purchased nets for commercial fishing, and erected a home. His business was renting boats, catching and selling commercial fish, renting camp houses, serving fish dinners. In short, he maintained and operated an up-to-date and clean commercial fishing camp and prospered in the business.

The plaintiff, from the years 1923 to 1939, solely out of his business, accumulated 320 acres of land, an automobile, a comfortable home, and maintained and educated his family. He was highly respected in his community, and his patrons were among the prominent people of...

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12 cases
  • Bd. of Comm'rs of the Se. La. Flood Prot. Auth.—E. v. Tenn. Gas Pipeline Co., Civil Action No. 13–5410.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Louisiana)
    • February 13, 2015
    ...La. Civ.Codeart. 648 ); Id. (citing Young v. International Paper Co., 179 La. 803, 805, 155 So. 231 (1934) ; Maddox v. Int'l Paper Co., 47 F.Supp. 829, 831 (W.D.La.1942) ).83 Id. at p. 26 (citing Gulf Ins. Co. v. Employers Liab. Assurance Corp., 170 So.2d 125, 129 (La.App. 4 Cir.1964) ; Rob......
  • Bd. of Comm'rs of the Se. La. Flood Prot. Auth. E. v. Tenn. Gas Pipeline Co., CIVIL ACTION CASE NO. 13-5410 SECTION: "G"(3)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Louisiana)
    • February 13, 2015
    ...at p. 20 (citing LA. CIV. CODE art. 648; Id. (citing Young v. International Paper Co., 179 La. 803, 805 (1934); Maddox v Int'l Paper Co., 47 F.Supp. 829, 831 (W.D. La. 1942)). 83. Id. at p. 26 (citing Gulf Ins. Co. v. Employers Liab. Assurance Corp., 170 So.2d 125, 129 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1964......
  • Community Blood Bank of Kansas City Area, Inc. v. FTC, 18645.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • January 10, 1969
    ...116 F.2d 239, 242 (8th Cir. 1940); Fechteler v. Palm Bros. & Co., 133 F. 462, 469 (6th Cir. 1904); Maddox v. International Paper Co., 47 F.Supp. 829, 830 (D.La.1942). There is also authority for the proposition that even though a corporation's income exceeds its disbursements its nonprofit ......
  • International Paper Co. v. Maddox, 14296.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • May 6, 1953
    ...satisfied." This action follows an earlier suit between the same parties, which is reported in Maddox v. International Paper Co., D.C., 47 F.Supp. 829; the same trial judge heard both cases. After the rendition of the judgment in the first case, the plaintiff and defendant therein entered i......
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