SrirachaThe city of Irwindale has filed a nuisance action against the maker of Sriracha hot sauce and has asked the judge to temporarily close the Huy Fong Foods factory.  The city wants to prevent the factory from making the hot sauce in order to reduce the chili odor coming from the factory.  The plaintiff alleges that “the chili odor emanating from the plant is a public nuisance.”

Complaints by Residents Who Reside Around Sriracha’s Southern California Factory

Some of the complaints that lead to the city of Irwindale’s public nuisance lawsuit against Sriracha include the following:

  • Burning eyes
  • Irritated throats
  • Headaches
  • Some residents had to leave their houses to get away from the smell
  • One family had to move a birthday party indoors due to the strong chili odor

What Is a Public Nuisance?

Public nuisance is considered a tort.  It is the excessive or unlawful use of one's property that unreasonably interferes with the health, safety, or property rights of the public. In public nuisance cases, damages will generally be awarded to the aggrieved party.  However, in order to receive an injunction or abatement, the lawsuit must be brought by a public authority or a private party who has suffered some unique damage. Defenses to public nuisance cases includes legislative authority such as zoning ordinances for nuisance actions. However, coming to the nuisance is usually not a defense.

Every time I eat this addicting hot sauce, my mouth burns like crazy.  I can’t imagine what these residents are dealing with.  Their eyes and throats must be on fire!

Do you think this lawsuit has merit?