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When Your Neighbor’s Tree Falls On Your House

Credit: Jeff Kolakowski, West Chester, Pa

Credit: Jeff Kolakowski, West Chester, Pa

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If your neighbor’s tree falls on your house, who has to pay for the damage?

Actor Eric Dane, McSteamy on the long running show Gray’s Anatomy, almost had his own anatomy rearranged after a tree belonging to his neighbor, Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan, fell over and crashed into Dane’s house, setting off the fire extinguisher, flooding the house, and only nearly missing Dane’s wife. I know, I’m bummed too that Dane has a wife, I mean, lost his stuff. So was Dane, who sued Corgan.

Usually, if there is damage done to your house, you’re the one whose homeowner’s insurance pays for it, even if it was caused by a tree in a different yard. But where, as here, your neighbor knew the tree was in bad shape and fails to take action to take it down before it does you harm, then you can sue your neighbor for negligence.

Dane claims that Corgan had been warned that the tree was shaky and dangerous before it fell and now should pay for the damage it foreseeably caused.

Sounds like a miniseries in the making.