AIf dead branch in an otherwisehealthy tree fell on my neighbors truck during a storm, am I responsible for the damages?

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AIf dead branch in an otherwisehealthy tree fell on my neighbors truck during a storm, am I responsible for the damages?

I have a large 50+ year old tree on my property bordering my neighbors driveway. During a recent storm a dead branch from the top of the healthy tree fell and hit my neighbors truck, his insurance is now claiming we are responsible and wants us to pay for his truck repairs. Their insurance did want to total but he wants the truck repaired and he already went onto our property without permission and cut the tree in half. The repairs are already being done and now they are bringing this up.

Asked on August 21, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue your neighbor for trespass for entering your property without consent and cutting the tree in half.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would be the diminution in value of your land.

As for the damage to the truck, you should claim that you are NOT liable because the dead branch at the top of a healthy tree falling during a storm and hitting the neighbor's truck was an act of God.  In other words, it was an unforeseeable event and therefore you are not liable for negligence.


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