Is my mobile park liable for the destruction of my property if their tree caused the damage?

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Is my mobile park liable for the destruction of my property if their tree caused the damage?

I live in a mobile home community and own my home; I pay lot rent. I have an empty lot next door that is park owned. During the windstorm Sunday, a very large tree fell on my sunroom and destroyed it, also shattering the windshield of my car. The tree has a rotted center and was in need of removal prior to the storm. My mobile home and sunroom was uninsured.

Asked on November 19, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The mobile park would be liable only if they either actually knew, prior to the tree falling, that the tree was rotted and in need of removal (such as, for example, if someone, like yourself, had told them); or if it was so obvious to them that there was no reasonable way they could not have known (such as, for example, if the rot or the fact that the tree was dead was obvious at a glance AND the tree was located somewhere the park owners or their employees would reasonably pass by and see it fairly regularly). If they did not have knowledge, and reasonably would not be expected to have knowledge, that the tree was a hazard, they did nothing wrong and would not be at fault or liable; a person or business is only liable for another's losses when they are at fault in causing or contributing to them. Hopefully, you had insurance on your mobile home and car which will cover this loss in that event (if the park is not liable); that is what insurance is for, to pay when no one else is financially responsible.


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