Rotten dead tree damage vehicle

By Kyle Rajasthan

O.K.  Here is the situation.  I rent at an apartment complex.  This complex has a history of rotten to the core giant pine trees falling on vehicles.  My vehicle.  Twice.  This year.  The first crushing took place in February, specifically on the 25.  Yes there was a wind storm.  This tree, which was over one hundred feet high and three feet around crushed my contractors cap and severely damaged the bed of my truck.  Now, this happened less than a month after yet another one hundred foot pine next to my truck came down.  I had told the property manager these trees are dead and they are going to fall.  Nothing was done.  Since I only have liability on my truck, and the property manager had joked, “I hope you have insurance”, I ate it and built myself a nice flatbed.  Now, two Sundays ago, during yet another storm, yup Sandy, another tree hit my truck, in another location!  I had parked next to my building instead on under the pines in what is laugingly called the “overflow parking lot”.  It’s a cleaning by the side of the road under you guessed it, giant rotten pine trees.  Now; the tree that hit my truck this time, was one that again, was well over one hundred feet tall and again three feet in diameter.  It was also withing striking range of our building.  It was also very obviously dead.  The property management company had been warned about this tree for years.  Tenents had sent in picture and letters asking that the tree be removed.  Nothing was done.  I have talked to the property manager about that tree and the others on at least several occasions.  Yet nothing was done.  During Sandy, the tree damage.  It hit my truck on the drivers side, doing damage to windows, doors, hood and lights and it even hit the building, causing damage to first floor windows.  The next morning they were out there making it as thought it never happened.  They didn’t fix anything mind you, but they did cut the tree up.  Now; I know that if a live tree falls during a storm and cuases damage, it’s not anyones fault.  However, if something like  a giant dead four or five ton, one hundred plus foot pine tree comes down, I think this is a case of gross neglegence, don’t you think?  The propety management company knew these trees were dead.  They knew these trees posed a danger to person and property, and yet they did nothing to remove them.  Oh, sorry, yes they did.  A few years ago they “hired” a loging company to come in and clear the dead wood out.  They cleared the wood out all right, all the live stuff.  They took the good wood out, and left all the rotten trees for us to enjoy.  Nice huh?  So, what I am looking for here are opinions.  I am already looking for a lawyer, but I want to know if more can be done.  What do you think?

Edited on: Friday, October 11th, 2013 4:41 am

One Response to “Rotten dead tree damage vehicle”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


April 2nd, 2013 4:16 pm

Hired an Arborist consultant , out of pocket, and have them come out and assess the trees. Include in your letter to the property management the results of the arborist’s inspection as well as your photos of the trees that are around your truck currently. Have others in the complex sign it as well, ones who have had their cars stomped by trees as well would be helpful. Give them 30 days to fix this issue or the health department will be informed of the dangerous conditions in which people are living in. (i say health department because if they can’t help they will point you to someone who will) From here if you are trying to recover your losses on your truck then you would need to either (if it is under $5000) file a small claims lawsuit. If it is over then I suggest finding a lawyer on consignment, it sucks but you may have a good case since your truck was hit more than once indicating that they are, in fact, not being maintained. THEIR insurance is suppose to cover it, the problem is that they are not putting in the claims so their insurance does not get increased. This is public record and can be looked up either by the assessors office or the title company. Research more you will find who is insuring him. I would even go as far as looking up what bank is holding the loan and CC them a letter that you send to the landlord! An “Act of God” is only covered with insurances if the tree is continuously being maintained not when “nature makes it fall”. I hope that this helped you. We just had it happen to us and I know they are going to fight paying for the loss of wages and damage. Although we have collision coverage and the insurance companies can fight that out there is still the car rental and deductible that have to come out of pocket and I am not the one going to fight about it. I have lawyers for that crap! I am tired of janky landlords who don’t take responsibility. Good luck to you!


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