What to do if our neighbor’s pesticide has damaged our property?

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What to do if our neighbor’s pesticide has damaged our property?

We share a pond with a new neighbor. He has recently poisoned the pond with a broad spectrum herbicide that has killed the life in the pond and caused us damages to our cows and garden we water. It is an approved herbicide. Can we get a lawyer to sue for civil damages on a percentage basis or do we have to pay a lawyer up front to sue? We have a written statement that he twice put the herbicide in our shared pond of one acre that we have used water from for 6 years.

Asked on September 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Certainly, if your neighbor deliberately or carelessly applied/used the pesticide in a way that caused you economic losses, you could sue to recover those costs. The statement you describe should help in you any case. As to how a lawyer would charge you--that's up to the lawyer. Some lawyers would only take this case on an hourly basis, with a large retainer up front; others may take it on contingency (a percentage). You should not feel bad about "shopping around" for an attorney whose economic arrangements work for you.


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