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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.

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