CanI be held financially responsible by thefor sidewalk damage obviously caused by my tree?

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CanI be held financially responsible by thefor sidewalk damage obviously caused by my tree?

Asked on April 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The question as written essentially answers itself: if the damage is obviously caused by your tree, then yes, you can be held financially responsible. If the damage were something you could not have predicted or prevented--for example, it was a small tree knocked down by wind, and falling, somehow shattered the sidewalk--then you may be able to make the argument that with no control over it and not way to predict the damage, you are not responsible or liable. But in the typical case of a growing tree's roots damage the sidewalk, the damage is foreseeable and occurs over time; the landowner could cut the tree down to prevent. That foreseebility and opportunity to control would suffice to let you be held liable.


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