Polsue & Alfieri Ltd v Rushmer – Case Summary

Polsue & Alfieri Ltd v Rushmer

House of Lords

Citations: [1907] AC 121.


The respondent had operated a dairy business at his home for 20 years. The land was situated in a trade district. Most of the nearby businesses were in the printing trade. The appellants were a printing business situated on the neighbouring land.

The appellant set up a particularly noisy machine which disturbed the respondent and his family at night. The respondent sued in nuisance for an injunction restraining the noise.

  1. Was the respondent entitled to an injunction?

The court held that the respondent was entitled to an injunction. While the respondent could not expect perfect calm and quiet given the nature of the locale, the claimant’s activities went above and beyond what could reasonably be tolerated in such an area. It was an actionable nuisance.

This Case is Authority For…

The timing and intensity of the interference is relevant to whether it is reasonable. Disturbances at night are more likely to be unreasonable.