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REAL PROPERTY, Trespass/Nuisance: Other

SETTLEMENT RESULT: Removal of the nuisance tree and payment of $9,857 for past property damage from the tree.

CASE: LaPointe v. Johnson

SETTLEMENT DATE: Case Not Filed, May 9, 2006

ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff --Barri Kaplan Bonapart (Bonapart & Associates, Sausalito).
Defendant: Steger Johnson, Jones, Clifford, Johnson & Johnson, San Francisco.

EXPERTS: None.

FACTS & CONTENTIONS: According to plaintiff: Plaintiffs Sandra and Craig LaPointe bought their home in Tiburon in 1978 and since have landscaped their property including installing a pool and hot tub. Soon after, defendant Steger P. Johnson purchased the home next door, and plaintiffs began to experience problems with a cottonwood tree near the property line that the previous neighbors had consistently kept trimmed.

Specifically, the leaf debris was so excessive that it necessitated the purchase of a yard vac and upgrading the pool equipment to handle the excess leaves and extraordinary yard maintenance.

In addition, the roots from the tree caused upheaval and buckling of the bricks and concrete around the patio and pool decking, requiring replacement of same at great expense. To prevent further damage, plaintiffs installed a root barrier at significant cost to them.

Plaintiffs repeatedly attempted to resolve the matter without legal representation, to no avail. However, following a demand letter and negotiations, defendant agreed to remove the tree, and his insurance company contributed toward the payment of past damages and a portion of the tree removal cost.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS: Not reported.

COMMENTS: According to plaintiff: The insurance carrier was State Farm General Insurance Company; the claim representative was Emily S. Pressnall.

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