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> Falling Dead Limbs, Who is responsible
casciaj
post Aug 8 2012, 08:00 PM
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While camping overnight in Meridian, Ms. we were awaken in the middle of night by a tree limb coming through our camper roof. No rain or high wind at the time. Next morning we went to office and told Mgr. who is also owner what damage was done to our camper, and their comment was its and act of god so we are not responsible. Looking around the park over half the trees their were rotten with dead limbs getting ready to fall, also many were all ready lying on the ground. How can it be that the owners are not responsible, when you can clearly see the trees are rotted and have been for some time. If we were not in a hurry to be hundreds of miles away, because of family death, I would have fought this, for its not easy to fork out 860.00 because owners will not take care of property. Would like to hear from others who may know laws reguarding something like this. mad.gif mad.gif
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joez
post Aug 9 2012, 08:20 AM
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QUOTE(casciaj @ Aug 8 2012, 08:00 PM) *

While camping overnight in Meridian, Ms. we were awaken in the middle of night by a tree limb coming through our camper roof. No rain or high wind at the time. Next morning we went to office and told Mgr. who is also owner what damage was done to our camper, and their comment was its and act of god so we are not responsible. Looking around the park over half the trees their were rotten with dead limbs getting ready to fall, also many were all ready lying on the ground. How can it be that the owners are not responsible, when you can clearly see the trees are rotted and have been for some time. If we were not in a hurry to be hundreds of miles away, because of family death, I would have fought this, for its not easy to fork out 860.00 because owners will not take care of property. Would like to hear from others who may know laws reguarding something like this. mad.gif mad.gif


I am no lawyer, but I can tell you about why we never park under trees. It was a beautiful day, no storms, and no wind. DW was relaxing in a lounge chair enjoying a coffee when a tree limb about 8" in diameter crashed through the awning onto her shoulder, breaking her collarbone. Medical insurance paid for her treatment and casualty insurance paid for (minus deductible) damage to awning, and disability insurance paid when she could not work for eleven weeks. I actually saw a lawyer - he said that unless I could prove the campground knew the limb falling was likely to happen I had no case. Proving this would require, he said, some very expensive "experts" and those consultants would somehow have to get access to the property for testing. Another way, he said, we might have a claim is if we could prove that a limb had fallen from the same tree recently (like in the last month) doing damage to someone else.

Good luck. You could join us in "I love trees in the distance and never overhead" club.
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DXSMac
post Aug 9 2012, 08:39 AM
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Yeppers, this is a "sticky wicket." If you want to sue, it will take the bucks. I once heard a story from someone who said that they were told, "We aren't insured for that so we aren't responsible."

Um........ "coverage" isn't the issue!


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Onemoretrail
post Aug 9 2012, 10:32 AM
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This comes down to what are the state or provincial laws on public liability for a campground operator. I remember years ago where a hang glider pilot crash landed on a rancher's property and the rancher had to pay out from his own property insurance for public liability.
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B. Kidd
post Aug 9 2012, 06:05 PM
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I'll continue to park under/near trees. But after hearing these stories, I'll take a closer look for now on before accepting the spot!
Good thread. Thanks!
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mdcamping
post Aug 9 2012, 07:44 PM
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QUOTE(casciaj @ Aug 8 2012, 10:00 PM) *

While camping overnight in Meridian, Ms. we were awaken in the middle of night by a tree limb coming through our camper roof. No rain or high wind at the time. Next morning we went to office and told Mgr. who is also owner what damage was done to our camper, and their comment was its and act of god so we are not responsible. Looking around the park over half the trees their were rotten with dead limbs getting ready to fall, also many were all ready lying on the ground. How can it be that the owners are not responsible, when you can clearly see the trees are rotted and have been for some time. If we were not in a hurry to be hundreds of miles away, because of family death, I would have fought this, for its not easy to fork out 860.00 because owners will not take care of property. Would like to hear from others who may know laws reguarding something like this. mad.gif mad.gif


Casciaj sorry to hear about this and the death in your family, I'm not familiar with all the laws concerning this but in CT I have seen a lot of the campgrounds have some sort of tree cutting with the tree limbs, my guess liability laws are probably different up here. Hope you have some sort of RV insurance to cover some of the cost.

You got me thinking of what happened on our camping trip this early spring in CT, noticed a rotten limb directly above my kids tent end on the hybrid, didn't open it and had my son sleep on the couch. I formed the campground owner the next day when we were leaving and he sincerely thanked me for informing him... he sent one of his young help to remove the limb.

Mike
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BruceandKathyWA
post Aug 19 2012, 05:04 PM
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Hmmm, this struck a chord in me because we just got back from a trip in which something similar, but not as serious, happened. We parked our trailer under the welcome shade of a big willow tree. In the evening, shortly after we went to bed, the wind picked up and pretty soon we heard the pitter patter of leaves and small twigs hitting the roof of the trailer. Then wham! something bigger fell and then bang! again another something bigger yet hit the roof. We got up and went outside and were surprised to feel that the wind was just a gentle breeze and with nothing but our flashlights to guide us all we could find were some limbs about 1" to 2" in diameter lying broken on the ground. Still, the noise was so loud and I was concerned that something bigger might come down. So we went ahead and hooked up the tailer and pulled it out from under the tree. Fortunately we had room to do this and it wasn't yet in the middle of the night so I don't think we disturbed anyone.

The whole episode made me rethink parking under trees. These willows were enormous and apparently healthy. I don't think there would have been any way for the park management to have predicted of prevented this sort of thing. If a tree was obviously damaged or dying I would think that would be a different case all together.
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RLM
post Aug 20 2012, 09:05 AM
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QUOTE(casciaj @ Aug 8 2012, 09:00 PM) *

While camping overnight in Meridian, Ms. we were awaken in the middle of night by a tree limb .....Looking around the park over half the trees their were rotten with dead limbs getting ready to fall, also many were all ready lying on the ground. How can it be that the owners are not responsible, when you can clearly see the trees are rotted and have been for some time.


I suspect that you would have a reasonable chance of winning a law suit. A falling tree branch is a type of premise liability. Property owners, both campground and individuals, generally have a duty to make their property reasonably safe for people who are on the property lawfully. This would include ensuring that trees are properly maintained. The odds for a successful suit would go up if the property owner knew, or should have known, that the tree was likely to cause damage.
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mdcamping
post Aug 20 2012, 08:38 PM
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QUOTE(BruceandKathyWA @ Aug 19 2012, 07:04 PM) *

Hmmm, this struck a chord in me because we just got back from a trip in which something similar, but not as serious, happened. We parked our trailer under the welcome shade of a big willow tree. In the evening, shortly after we went to bed, the wind picked up and pretty soon we heard the pitter patter of leaves and small twigs hitting the roof of the trailer. Then wham! something bigger fell and then bang! again another something bigger yet hit the roof. We got up and went outside and were surprised to feel that the wind was just a gentle breeze and with nothing but our flashlights to guide us all we could find were some limbs about 1" to 2" in diameter lying broken on the ground. Still, the noise was so loud and I was concerned that something bigger might come down. So we went ahead and hooked up the tailer and pulled it out from under the tree. Fortunately we had room to do this and it wasn't yet in the middle of the night so I don't think we disturbed anyone.

The whole episode made me rethink parking under trees. These willows were enormous and apparently healthy. I don't think there would have been any way for the park management to have predicted of prevented this sort of thing. If a tree was obviously damaged or dying I would think that would be a different case all together.


Willows are notorious for dropping healthy branches in windy conditions, remember having them in my parents back yard...one small breeze and I would be raking branches away from under the tree... dry.gif I would include them in with the unhealthy trees/branches as for not to park under.

Mike
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TXBobcat
post Sep 5 2012, 09:26 PM
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One year we were in a campground and heard a noise on the roof. Thought pine cones were dropping onto the roof. Later on I went out to find out it was squirrels. Thoselittle critters sure made a big noise..

BC
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scottybdiving
post Sep 6 2012, 09:39 AM
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Hello everybody. 1st post. When I'm not sleeping in my camper and I'm backpacking or river rafting, I sleep in a hammock. In the hammocker's world, dead tree limbs are often referred to as "Widowmakers". Unfortunately they have earned this title. Hammocking has made me more aware of this and I always look up at the trees before parking, setting up a hammock, or even sitting under a tree. It seems to me that a commercial business would have an obligation to make their property safe, and that a dead tree or limb would be considered unsafe by default. Especially if there is evidence that it has ocurred recently.
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Wink
post Sep 9 2012, 04:02 PM
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I do look for dead limbs when camping.And have ask for and got another spot. dry.gif


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