Apartment responsible for accident?

iloveexerciseDecember 23, 2008

Our porch has an old tree right in front of it that has roots putruding from the ground all over that are like 8 inches thick in some places.When it rains,it fills up with huge puddles and it is always muddy and grass never grows.

Several people (including myself) have been hurt tripping over these roots before,but none too seriously.My poor daughter,on the other hand,tripped over one root,slid on some mud,tripped on another root,went flying into the air, and landed on the sidewalk BREAKING HER RIGHT ARM Saturday night.

That's right,now she is miserable right before Christmas and I have to hurry up and find an orthopedic dr to set it in a cast before they all leave for their holiday breaks!

I e-mailed the apartment complex about the dangers of this tree explaining what happend AND also called about it.I got no response or visit from the Property Manager about it.(Yet,the property manager had no trouble leaving me a hand written note about my stupid grill being too close to the wall!)

I want this tree REMOVED.I'am very upset my daughter has to go through this pain and spend her Christmas this way!

I have taken pictures of what (the tree and roots) look like and will upload on this thread later when I have more time.

Does anyone have any advice for me? This tree is clearly the apartment complexes property and their responsibilty.

Shouldnt they have to remove it if it is such a danger to people?

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dilly_dally

I don't think you can make them remove a tree. I assume they have insurance to deal with your daughters bills.

If they were smart they would put a fence around the tree area so this does not happen again.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 1:30PM
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lucy

Maybe not, but keep all the medical reports and definitely the invoices - you never know when they'll come in handy!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 2:18PM
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iloveexercise

Thanks for the responses.Unfortunately,it would be impossible for them to fence it off.As I said the tree is literally right in front of our door,there is no way around it and a fence would just block us in.
I wouldnt know if they had insurance.The property manager still has not responded about it!
Now my daughter might require surgery...

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 1:43PM
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dilly_dally

Contact your building inspector to see if there is a code violation with the tree. Depending on the answer you get, it will point you in the direction you need to go with the matter. No mater what you are going to need a lawyer.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2008 at 10:23PM
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iloveexercise

Thanks dilly dally.We are looking into getting a lawyer now.I hadnt thought of contacting the building inspector,but that's a good idea.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 6:22PM
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neesie

I'm so sorry for the pain your daughter has suffered. Since you mentioned that other people have tripped over these roots in the past it does seem that the property owners were on notice to take care of their responsibility. As much as I love old trees, when the roots disturb the earth (some upheave pavement, etc.) then it is time to do something about it. Even if your daughter was the first person to suffer an injury they should have forseen something like this happening.

I am not a lawyer (and no, I don't play one on televsion, either LOL!) but I would go ahead an persue this if I were you. BTW, your property manager has to consult with his lawyer, that's why you didn't get an immediate response. Best wishes to you and your daughter; hope she didn't need surgery and mends just fine. :)

BTW, what species of tree is this?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 11:01PM
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iloveexercise

As promised here are some pics of the area.I have alot more,but I dont have time to post them all,so I hope this helps.
CLICK ON THE PIC TO SEE IT LARGER


This is the actual spot where she tripped,and landed on the sidewalk


This is showing the tree and you can see my porch in the backround that is where my door is.It is too close to my door/porch for a fence and a fence would also take up our entire porch area.

Just another shot of how the roots are putruding.

I believe it is a maple tree.My husband thinks a silver maple.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 11:33PM
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iloveexercise


    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 11:38PM
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dilly_dally

Maple trees are known to be shallow rooted. That's just how they are. Many people do not take that into consideration when planting maple saplings. The pics show the roots. OK. How is the tree in front of the door? Did you take these photos standing in your doorway?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 2:15AM
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lucy

Two questions - how far (in feet) is the actual tree (trunk) from your steps, and how old is your daughter? Clicking on the pix doesn't work (error message), plus being nighttime doesn't help to see anything. If your daughter's e.g. 5 years old, she couldn't be expected to do more than 'be careful', hard to convince a 5 yr old to do that, but if she's mostly grown, she should have been aware of the roots by now, and maybe stuck to the walkway (or isn't there even one of those - if there isn't you definitely would have a lawsuit).

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 5:28AM
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gammyt

It looks like the roots have not harmed the two sidewalks in anyway so I don't think you have a case.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 10:30AM
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iloveexercise

"Did you take these photos standing in your doorway?"

yes,I did,as a matter of fact...and the problem with the fact that the tree doesnt disturb the walkway isnt my issue,as this damned tree takes up my ENTIRE PORCH AREA.I should be able to walk through my porch area without tripping.No other residents are forced to walk on their walkways because of a tree on their front porch!
Just forget it,I dont need anyone's advice here,I am consulting with a lawyer.
I dont need to be told that my daughter is in pain and it's her own fault when this tree is very dangerous.I wont be back to check on this thread.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 5:48PM
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gammyt

Any lawyer worth a darn wont charge you, and tell you the same thing because that is what a judge will say.

Sorry but you say youself that the sidewalk is fine. Obviously the tree was there before you rented the apartment.

Save your money on the lawyer, you lost. The complex didn't force your daughter to walk among the roots and mud.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 7:17PM
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iloveexercise

First of all,gammyt,if you read my FIRST post,I didnt say anything about a case.I only said I wanted the tree REMOVED for the safety of EVERYONE,not just my daughter.

After consulting with several people who dont seem to have a stick up their butt as you clearly do,I was advised that getting a lawyer MIGHT be a good idea.
I didnt come here to ask you if I had a case of not.I asked if anyone thought the tree should be removed.
Since I only got mostly smart @ss replies,I'm done with this thread!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 8:13PM
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dilly_dally

"The problem with the fact that the tree doesnt disturb the walkway isnt my issue."

Well if the tree is not disturbing the sidewalk then what is the issue??

"No other residents are forced to walk on their walkways because of a tree on their front porch!"

I don't think you will get any sympathy from a judge or from a building inspector, about being "forced" to have to walk on a perfectly good sidewalk.

I asked previously about getting a building inspector to look at it, because your post made it sound like there was a dangerous situation with the tree heaving your sidewalk or porch. There was no photo of a tree "right on your front porch" as you say.

"I have to hurry up and find an orthopedic dr to set it in a cast before they all leave for their holiday breaks!"

You posted this ON TUESDAY. You said she fell on Saturday. This doesn't sound like you were in a hurry to get a doctor to set her arm. You should have been driving to the ER instead of posting here for arborist recommendations.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 4:55AM
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western_pa_luann

"Save your money on the lawyer, you lost. The complex didn't force your daughter to walk among the roots and mud. "

Ditto that!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 12:47PM
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gammyt

iloveexercise, on December 28th you did say "We are looking into getting a lawyer now."

I do not have a stick up my butt or anything against you. I don't even know you or care if you spend money hiring a lawyer on a lost cause.

YOU posted and from the photos you posted. You would be wasting your money on a lawyer. I am sorry if that isn't what you wanted to hear.

Your night time photos clearly showed that the sidewalks are fine, including the sidewalk between the tree and your front porch. Unless you can prove that the complex forced your daughter to walk among the roots, you lost.

I am sorry if that isn't the answer you wanted but it is the truth.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 6:08PM
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western_pa_luann

Photos are pulled... guess the rest of us can't see them now!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:29PM
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