Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 2014 E250 Bluetec 4-Matic, 1983 240D 4-Speed
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 256 Post(s)
What to do About Falling Tree Limbs - Who is Liable?
My mother-in-law has a home in an older development in the Albany, NY area. Most homes have had trees grow from saplings 50 or more years ago to monster trees, or get weak and die, etc. Many have been cut down as they represent a hazard when they enter the end of life stage and begin losing large limbs in storms.
My mother-in-law has a neighbor, an elderly couple, with a what used to be a large tree on their property that leans towards my mother-in-law's house. In the last year this tree has lost limbs up to 10 inches in diameter from a height of over 30 feet - at least twice - that have damaged a maple tree and now the roof of my mother-in-law's home. The tree is significantly smaller now but still has several 12 to 14 inch diameter limbs that rise over 25 feet above the roof of my mother-in-law's home. I read up on the "tort reform" changes that make this hard to call the neighbor's problem - in the old days before tort reform, your tree, your problem, end of story. Now it is necessary to prove the tree owner is negligent if the tree is falling apart and the debris falls on a neighbor's house and does damage.
So, given the roof damage and the mutilation of the maple tree in my mother-in-law's front yard due to the structural weakness of this still living, but aging, tree, not trimming the tree or cutting it down so other limbs threatening my mother-in-laws property sounds like negligence. I was hoping someone here would know about a procedure to follow to establish the tree, which may be technically alive but now has a history of structural weakness, is a known threat and to ignore it further is willful negligence.
Last edited by JimSmith; 02-15-2009 at 12:33 PM.