Court Allows Statutory Damages for Trespass to Trees
In Fulle v. Kanani, plaintiff and defendant shared a property line. The defendant retained a tree service to cut down limbs and branches of six (6) trees located on plaintiff’s property that partially blocked defendant’s view. Defendant did not obtain permission prior to the tree trimming. Plaintiff filed a complaint against defendant for trespass and negligence. Plaintiff sought damages for injury to the trees, restoration costs, annoyance and discomfort. Plaintiff also requested additional damages to “compensate for the actual detriment” for injury to the trees. The court found in favor of plaintiff and tripled plaintiff’s economic damages, but refused to apply a multiplier for her annoyance and discomfort. The appellate court reversed holding that plaintiff’s annoyance and discomfort damages were subject to the multiplier for trespass to the trees.
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