If I am using a firepit in my yard, and the smoke happens to kill a tree in my neighbor’s yard, would I be responsible for paying for it?

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If I am using a firepit in my yard, and the smoke happens to kill a tree in my neighbor’s yard, would I be responsible for paying for it?

In a court of law, would it be easy for him to prove that I actually killed the tree with smoke from my firepit?

Asked on October 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if actions of yours killed your neighbor's tree, you would most likely be liable for the loss (e.g. for the value of the dead tree, at it's then-state of maturity), the same as you'd be liable if your actions damaged his house or his car.

Practically, proving in court that your smoke killed his tree may be very difficult, unless he gets some horticultural expert to examine the tree and testify as to cause of death.


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