Legal Memorandum on Poppy Smelling Widgets Issue example

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Legal Memorandum on Poppy Smelling Widgets Issue

Question Presented

Under U.S. law in general, can George as a representative of Poppy Smelling Widgets (PSW) continue to test his products above the property owned by real estate developer, taking into account that his products do fly, are launched from the property belonging to PSW, and considering that products generate irritating sound and smell while moving above the land of real estate developer?

Short Answer

No, George cannot continue his tests as his products put strict liability on PSW towards the future inhabitants of the housing community, and the odor and sound produced by his devices can be considered as a trespass of the property.


PSW is a manufacturer of flying devices that are launched from the slingshot, and then, fly in the air, producing irritating sounds and unpleasant smell. After the flight, they return to the initial location. George as a representative of PSW used to test the devices to ensure their functionality before shipping, which is the essential part of his business process. The tests have been performed above the farmland, the owner of which was not known, and have not objected the usage of the land for the launches of PSW. However, real estate developer, who has prohibited George from continuing tests because the sound and smell produced by PSW devices would have an adverse effect on the premises constructed by the developer, has purchased the farmland.

If George stops testing PSW products, the flaws in the devices will be hidden so that the business will experience customer dissatisfaction, corruption of brand name, and, eventually, the decline in profits. The products have been tested over the farmland for a long time before its purchase by real estate agency, and they do not land on the property but return to the initial location owned by George. However, the current owner of the land claims that PSW products would do non-economic damage if they move above the future housing assets. Considering the challengeable situation, George asks whether he can continue his tests above the property of real estate developer and whether the developer can enforce him to discontinue his activity by the law.


Smell and sound produced by PSW can be considered as a trespassing of the property owned by real estate developer. More to the point, tests may cause private nuisance towards future household owners. According to Pagnattaro, Cahoy, Magid, Reed, and Shedd (2016), trespass includes not only physical penetration and presence on the owned territory or property but also placing particles and pollution on the property without the official permission of the owner. It is also emphasized that the refusal to leave the property after the oral or written request of the rightful owner is also the trespass. While George has been already asked to stop the penetration of the land by his devices, his next tests are likely to be recognized as a violation of the law. One should also state into account that “intentional wrongdoing is frequently criminal” (Pagnattaro et …

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