Bonapart & Associates Law and Mediation: Practical Solutions for an Impractical World

Verdicts and Settlements

REAL PROPERTY, Trespass - Tree

CASE: Blanquie v. Construction Corportation, George Morf, Adam Pielaszczyk dba LC Adams,et. al. / CV021697

COURT/DATE: Marin Superior Court /April 4, 2003

SETTLEMENT: $74,500.

ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff --Barri Kaplan Bonapart (Bonapart & Associates, Mill Valley). Defendant --James W. Pincin (Nisson & Pincin, Redding). Cross-defendant --William J. Peters, J. Andrew Lawson (Gordon & Rees, San Francisco).

FACTS: The plaintiffs owned a stand of mature eucalyptus trees, which afforded privacy and shade between their home and adjacent lots, as well as a habitat and nesting ground for various forms of wildlife. The defendant developer and his logging contractor clear cut the plaintiffs’ trees without their authorization or permission. A cross-action was filed by the defendants against the surveyor for professional negligence.

PLAINTIFF CONTENTIONS: The plaintiffs contended that most of the trees were theirs either in whole or in part and that they had a value of approximately $54,000. The plaintiffs alleged property damage and damages for personal discomfort and annoyance and loss of use and enjoyment of the plaintiffs’ property, trespass and sought double or treble damages under the provisions of Section 3346(a) of the Civil Code and Section 733 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

DEFENDANT CONTENTIONS: The defendant developer contended that the trees were on their side of the property line. The defendant tree cutter contended that he was following the instructions of the developer. The cross-defendant surveyor contended that he believed that the trees belonged to the defendant developer but was not asked to perform an actual survey plotting the trees in relation to the boundary line.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS: $74,500 of which $34,500 was paid by the cross-defendant (the surveyor) and $40,000 paid by the construction company and the developer of the adjacent property.

OTHER INFORMATION: A mediation was held before Gary Friedman of Mill Valley.

"$74,500 of which $34,500 was paid by the cross-defendant (the surveyor) and $40,000 paid by the construction company and the developer of the adjacent property."


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