All this raises a complicated question: if your neighbor`s tree falls in your garden, who is responsible for the damage? MGL c. 49 § 21 A fence or other structure of the type of fence that is unnecessarily more than six feet high and that is erected or maintained maliciously to harass the owners or occupants of adjacent properties is considered a private nuisance. Levine v. Black, 312 Mass. 242 (1942) The court refused to issue an injunction prohibiting a neighbour from cutting down a tree at the property line, where the evidence showed that previous work on the tree had reduced it to „one trunk and two branches.” Trees are a good addition to your landscaping, but they can also cause problems for homeowners. Here are some helpful tips for dealing with damage to trees on your property or that of your neighbors. If you are the victim of a fallen tree or branch, contact our office today. Attorney Charles N. Rock brings his expertise in settlement liability law to your case and guides you in deciding how to move through the litigation stages.
Ritter v. Bergmann, 72 Fl. App. Ct. 296 (2008) clarified that „Glavin does not require that there be a personal reason to support the use of restoration costs as a measure of damage. Here, the damage done to the Ritters by felling trees on the property next to their home was not just the potential loss of value of the land they hoped to sell, but the loss of their own privacy – regardless of whether Lot 11 was sold or kept. „HaftungsRisiken beim Beutz eines Nachbarbaums”, von Bruce Medoff und Philip M. Hirshberg, 24 Mass. lawyers weekly 1967 (3. June 1996) The branch had been suspended in the Raleighs` yard for several months when Ms. Raleigh decided to call a local enforcement officer. He determined that the branch posed a potential danger and submitted a notice to Karpenkos.
Had the store fallen during this interim period, the Karpenkos could have been blamed for the damage to the Raleigh property. As a homeowner, it`s important to know the common characteristics of a decaying tree on your property. Here are some important signs of dangerous trees: However, there are also situations where a homeowner can be held liable even if they didn`t know they had a decaying tree on their property. A landlord must maintain a safe environment, and failure to do so could be considered negligence. MGL c.87, § 1 Public shade trees; Definition. All trees located within or within the public trail. should be public shade trees. [If] it is doubtful whether the tree is inside the road, it is considered to be on the public highway and public property until proven otherwise. Neighbor Law: Fences, Trees, Borders & Noise by Emily Doskow, Nolo, 2020. Trees that exceed the boundaries of a property can allow for unique legal cases when it comes to fallen trees or branches.
In 2015, a couple of neighbors in Rochester, New York, argued over the status of a dangerous branch. The tree was planted firmly on a family`s property, but a 15-foot branch hung in their neighbor`s garden. Eventually, the neighbor who had the dangerous branch in her garden decided to pay for it to be shot. It did so with the permission of the owners of the land on which the tree was rooted, which prevented possible damage. The effects of Hurricane Sandy were particularly severe. The toppling of trees caused power outages, property damage and even loss of life. In some cases, fallen trees on land belonged to that owner. In other cases, fallen trees were originally on a neighbour`s property. If you are injured by a falling tree or branch and want to claim damages, the first thing to do after medical treatment is to take pictures of the incident.
If you then contact a liability lawyer, these photos can be used as evidence to establish liability. A tree owner could be held responsible for toppling a tree if they previously knew the tree was unsafe, but did nothing to fix the problem. If the owner does not follow up on the problem, he is likely to be held liable for the damage. For this reason, the fall of the tree could be considered a foreseeable danger. Michalson v. Nutting, 275 Mass. 232 (1931) The owner of a tree is not responsible for damage caused by its roots on the neighbouring property, but the „right of the neighbour to cut branches and invasive roots is well recognized.” Wellesley Conservation Council v. Pereira, Civil No. 17-863 (Norfolk Super.
Ct.) (2018), 35 Mass. Law Reporter 113 (2018) A Nature Conservation Board, as a beneficiary of the conservation restriction on the defendant`s property, cannot receive financial damages from the defendants because the defendants cut down trees on their property in violation of the conservation restriction. Shiel v. Rowell, 480 Mass. 106 (2018) Confirms the „Massachusetts rule” that „a person whose property is damaged by a neighbor`s healthy tree has no cause of action against a landowner of the land on which the tree is located.” However, homeowners who are disturbed by their neighbours` trees are „not without recourse”. They are free to remove any part of the tree that exceeds the property line. If your neighbor`s tree extinguishes the sun, can you force him to cut it down? Not in Massachusetts, National Law Review, February 8, 2019. Explains the holding company in Shiel v. Rowell: If a tree is healthy, a homeowner does not need to cut or prune it to please a neighbor. If branches or roots cross a property line, neighbors can cut them themselves. Glavin v.
Eckman, 71 Mass. App. Ct. 313 (2008) The owners of Martha`s Vineyard and their logging contractor cut down ten old trees on a neighbor`s property to improve their own view of the ocean. The court upheld a jury award that awarded the aggrieved owner the $30,000 replacement cost of the trees, rather than damages measured by the value of the timber or the depreciation of the property. Kurtigan v. City of Worcester, 348 Mass. 284 (1965)The city was held liable for damage caused by the branches of a dead tree falling from land that the city had acquired due to non-payment of taxes.