Verdicts and Settlements
REAL PROPERTY, Trespass/Nuisance: Other.
PERSONAL PROPERTY, Conversion
SETTLEMENT RESULT: $75,000. The mediator was John R. Williams, Esq. The settlement
was paid by defendants' insurance carrier.
CASE: Carrick v. Williams No. 105CV047942
SETTLEMENT DATE: June 27, 2006
ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff --Barri Kaplan Bonapart (Bonapart & Associates, Sausalito).
Defendant: Christopher J. Rudy, Stenberg, Sunseri, Roe,
Pickard and Rudy, San Jose.
EXPERTS: Plaintiff: Raymond F. Moritz, arborist, Moritz
Arboricultural Consulting, Sausalito
(415) 256-1775. Bruce
W. Hagen, forester, Tree Care Associates (707) 824-5704.
Defendant: Not reported.
FACTS & CONTENTIONS: According to plaintiff: Plaintiff Paul Carrick owns several
parcels of property in Los Gatos, California. On one lot, a prosperous growing stand of mature trees and shrubs
afforded plaintiff privacy between his renters' home and the adjacent lot, as well as a habitat and nesting ground for
various forms of wildlife.
While plaintiff was on vacation, his neighbors, defendants James Williams, April Williams,
and Joseph Waddle trespassed and cut down a swath of trees and vegetation, claiming that a "fire break" was needed due
to a perceived threat from what has become known as the "Croy Fire."
Defendants argued that their conduct was "privileged" due to the alleged safety risks.
CLAIMED DAMAGES: According to plaintiff: $61,811, according to plaintiff's
experts. Defendants' experts valued the loss as de minimis (e.g., the value of firewood).
SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS: Not reported.
COMMENTS: According to plaintiff: The insurance carrier was State
Farm Insurance Company; the claims representative was Sandra Hardwood.