Does a falling tree make a noise… - Posted by Rick the Probate Guy
Posted by Rick the Probate Guy on December 28, 2010 at 12:17:08:
First of all, my standard caveat: I am not a lawyer, nor am I familiar with Florida ‘timber’ and tort laws.
That said, I think that it wouldn’t be too far reaching for an adjacent homeowner to attempt to hold the offending land owner with “dangerous nusance trees” liable and try to get money from you or your insurance company.
Now I think that there are several strategies here that you might take. One is to purchase insurance, expensive as it is in FL, to cover your exposure.
Or, you might consider self-insuring the first X dollars and get an umbrella policy for the overage.
Another strategy is to protect your other assets with holding entities and tactical actions like protective mortgages, options and impass easements which make your assets otherwise useless to any would-be, third-party plantiff wishing to get a judgment and writ against you.
I think you are wise to ask good questions now before any problems appear. Have you researched this at all? Any prior case law in FL? Yours would NOT be the first to have a tree land on another’s property.
We’ve just got over a heavy rainstorm here in SoCal in which old established trees are beginning to topple under the added weight and saturated soil. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see aq TV newsman interviewing an owner of a crushed car or home.
“How did you FEEL when your cranky neighbor was crushed by that oak?” they would ask.