Root Tree Damage

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:12 pm   Post subject: Root Tree Damage  

In this case if the the trees fall they will not damage any structures. The trees are thirty feet from the house on a slope. I don't think they will fall, there are still a lot of roots in the ground holding up the trees. I don't understand why you doubt the neighbors can be held responsible for damages caused by the roots of a tree and fail to see the negligence. They have never pruned the trees or maintained them at all. I can't expect you to understand without actually seeing the trees. The trees are Hollywood Junipers, and if they are not taken care of they grow wild. There are five of them.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:39 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I don't understand why you doubt the neighbors can be held responsible for damages caused by the roots of a tree and fail to see the negligence.
Here is the question... how were the negligent? I'm not saying they are not responsible... just that it's questionable.

Quote:
The trees are Hollywood Junipers, and if they are not taken care of they grow wild.
How do you take care of the root system?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:42 am   Post subject:   

Just how tall are these Hollywood Junipers and how far apart are they spaced? According to several websites, they go about 10-15 feet and about 10 feet wide -- a large shrub commonly placed near fences.



But again, if you cut roots and now the trees are moving, you may have damaged the root structure and could bear liability if they fall -- doesn't have to hit anything, but it could fall on someone, just the same.



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:58 am   Post subject:   

Max, that's a great post indeed. Now, I'm a bit curious about something. If I cut the roots, damage them in the process and the trees fall on someone, will I be more responsible? How will the adjuster assume liability between me and my neighbor?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:19 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
If I cut the roots, damage them in the process and the trees fall on someone, will I be more responsible?




Let's try another "cutting" analogy. Your neighbor parks his car in his driveway, but fails to use the emergency brake. The car rolls down the driveway and onto your lawn, damaging some shrubs. You decide to cut his brake line to teach him "a lesson" when it comes to taking care of his property.



Now he drives off, has an accident, and can prove that you cut the brake line. Who's liable?



How will an adjuster parcel liability? I'm not an adjuster, so I can't really tell you the answer to that. Maybe one of the adjusters will pop in and do so. But if it can be proved that your act of cutting the root was the primary cause of whatever damage the tree causes -- to property or persons -- the liability will fall on you.



Most states have adopted "comparative" liability as the standard of negligence, but several still have "contributory" negligence on their books as a defense. In a contributory negligence state, if even 1% liable for one's own damage, you cannot collect from the other, more negligent party.



Most state laws allow a property owner to remove tree branches that overhang their property from another. It's up to the tree owner to perform "counterbalancing" if the act of cutting offending branches removes enough weight that the tree becomes unbalanced. You cannot generally be held liable for that if the tree subsequently falls.



Cutting roots is an entirely different matter. There was a post here yesterday that has disappeared, that indicated one may have no idea of the damage they do when cutting the roots of a tree. It could have no effect, or it could have a tragic effect. On the tree and others.



What you do above ground, usually no problem, unless it was done maliciously. What you do underground could come back to bite you. But that's what YOU have homeowner's insurance for. As long as what damage you cause is due to negligence and was not done "willfully and maliciously", your homeowner's insurance will cover the damage up to your policy limits.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:55 am   Post subject: Tree Root Damage  

Hi, I live in California and late last year my neighbor informed me that our Aptos Blue Redwood tree roots damaged his in-ground vinyl pool. Our trees were planted approx. 25 years ago and his vinyl pool was also approx. 25 years old.



I contacted my insurance company and they sent out an arborist to evaluate if the roots were in fact from our tree. It was determined that my tree did cause the damage to his pool and he was compensated for the cost of a new vinyl pool.



If the neighbor replaces the pool prior to me either installing root barriers or removing the tree, could we be held liable a second time?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:02 pm   Post subject:   

Anything is possible. However, perhaps, you may be off the hook now. Knowing that there are tree roots that have made an incursion into your neighbor's pool space, it should be your neighbor's responsibility to protect his property from future damage.



You can discuss the situation with your insurance company, asking if they will indemnify you for a second such occurrence in the future, or if they will cover your neighbor's cost to cut the roots back 5-10 feet from the pool, or if they now consider the liability for future root damage to be that of your neighbor. Get their response in writing and if it puts the burden on your neighbor, then make sure your deliver a copy of the letter to him via Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested, so you have proof in the future that he is aware of the situation and his responsibility. DON'T LOSE that proof of service or the letter from your insurance company!



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:06 pm   Post subject: root damage  

My neighbor also planted palm trees within 5 ft of a retaining wall but violated the CCRs. A root barrier must be used within 5 ft of a retaining wall which he did not do. His insurance co has accepted liability. Only problem now is there is a $24,000 cost to replace the wall and Farmers claims that it only pays for half the damage as it is a shared wall. Problem is, he violated the CCRs which makes him totally responsible for damages accorrding to our HOA. Farmers thinks that they will only pay for half. I have another feelling due to my neighbors violation. We'll see.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:06 pm   Post subject:   

See below



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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:57 am   Post subject:   

Greetings,

Do not sue as a limited civil matter. This damage exceeds that limit and now may can get you further punitive relief as well. Sue as an unlimited civil matter and ask for a fee waiver and injunctive relief in all premises allowable and name your insurance company and the neighbors too as defendants.This is an injury case andan attorney will take it on contingency with no money retained. Yet use care to read and fully understand the contract to retain the lawyer.

Good luck,

Michael


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 5:34 am   Post subject:   

You should consult an attorney regarding this.

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