UKTC Archive

damage liability

Subject: damage liability
From: Vowell Anthony R CDE/EDP
Date: Oct 31 2001 16:20:53
Has anyone seen the law report in last Friday's Times [October26th]
regarding tree root damage to property and recovery of expenditure and
the abatement of a continuing nuisance.

The actual case seems very complicated, but hinges on the fact that
present owners can sue for damage that might have took place many years
prior [if I've read it properly]

The appeal before the House of Lords was in short:

" in the proposition that where there is a continuing nuisance of which
the defendant knew or should have known, reasonable remedial expenditure
could be recoverd by the owner who had to incur it [to abate the
nuisance ]."

 Does this open up a whole can of worms along the lines of " I've had to
clean my gutters/paint the house/de-moss the lawn" etc etc ad-nauseum
" because of the TPO tree over there on his/her/etc land, and therefore
I'm suing the owner for the costs incurred"

The owner can then fell said TPO tree with impunity because it is seen
as an abatement of a nuisance, as aided and abetted by the Court.

I'd be interested in any views on this, as I have an owner who is
itching to use it as an excuse to felling a 200 year old Oak covered by
a TPO.

Tony Vowell

Trees Officer Gwynedd Council
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