who is responsible? [Tree]

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Hillview
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:27 am

who is responsible? [Tree]

Post by Hillview » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:26 pm

We live in a suburb with sidewalks and about 500m from a public school so our street is a major walk way to school. Last week a storm took down a tree on our neighbor's property (across the street from our house). The branch is now resting on the Verizon line that powers both sides of the street (about 20 houses). The neighbor called Verizon and city hall who told him it was be on the list. The branch is hanging over the street and sidewalk (resting on the phone and cable lines -- not the power lines which are higher). Tonight when we get another 12-18 inches of snow I am concerned that the branch will bring down the lines and/or be even more of a hazard. Who is responsible for this? I assume the neighbor (not the city)? If there is damage or god forbid someone gets hurt who is liable?

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dwickenh
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Location: Illinois

Re: who is responsible? [Tree]

Post by dwickenh » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:58 pm

It was originally an "act of God" unless the neighbor had been warned in writing about the condition of the tree before the limb came off. Now, with notice to the proper city/Verizon line maintenance, the liability may be shared with the original tree owner. It does not appear to be a liability to you unless it causes further damage to your property that could have been avoided with temporary repairs.

The state and city statutes could affect the outcome.

Dan
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

tev9876
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Re: who is responsible? [Tree]

Post by tev9876 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:52 pm

Is the tree actually on the neighbors property or is it in an easement? In my subdivision the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street is city owned, as are the trees there. Years ago a major limb came down from the maple tree across the sidewalk and onto my property. It was still attached about 10' up, making it rather dangerous. I called the city to let them know their tree was down. At first they said they would get to it when they could. I pointed out a second time that it was hanging over a sidewalk and a hazard. A crew pulled up about an hour later and cleared it up.

Perhaps a call from you or other neighbors to the city might highlight the hazard factor and motivate them to get out quicker.

Hillview
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:27 am

Re: who is responsible? [Tree]

Post by Hillview » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:01 pm

Thanks -- the tree is firmly on the property owner's property. I've called the city. He has called the city and seems to think they will deal with it. The city of course has a bunch of trees on THEIR property and I think the property owner is responsible but that is just my assumption/guess (and I am not a lawyer). I got vmail at the city so I got no info thus far.

vveat
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Re: who is responsible? [Tree]

Post by vveat » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:05 pm

Maybe not exactly the same case since it's a power line, but we had a very big branch from one of our trees fall onto the power line with the other end effectively blocking the street (without power loss, just a hazard). This happened last Wed evening and Thursday morning at 6:15am a neighbor started ringing the door bell and demanding we take care of it since we are the property owner. He persisted even after we explained that we have called the police and the local electrical company and can do nothing but wait :annoyed

The advice we are always getting is not to touch a tree that is touching wires and let the energy provider send a service. Our tree service guy has told us the same that he and his crew are not handing trees on wires either. The police wouldn't come near it, they even didn't bother putting cones around since the street was impassable and the hazard rather obvious to all.

Maybe in your case if the hazard is not very visible to people passing through you could insist on cones to block passage?

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