Neighbor sues for tree damage to house and garage

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 4, 2008, 4:53pm

Rebecca Van Scoyk is suing her her neighbors over tree damage.

She filed suit against Dennis and Cynthia Westfall in Madison County Circuit Court May 30, alleging a fallen tree caused more than $60,000 in damage to her home and garage.

According to the three-count complaint, Van Scoyk claims a tree located on the Westfalls' property fell on her property destroying a garage and its contents, including vehicles. She claims the fallen tree also caused structural damage to her home and surrounding property.

Van Scoyk resides at 108 Market St. in Troy and the Westfalls reside at 306 Market St.

She claims the Westfalls knew that the tree was decayed and hollowed.

Van Scoyk also claims the Westfalls had a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent the decayed and hollowed tree from damaging and harming her property, but failed their duty and allowed the tree to damage her property.

"The tree was defective in that it had become decayed and hollowed and the defect posed an unreasonable risk of harm," the complaint states.

"The damage caused by the tree falling onto Plaintiff's property was caused by the defect."

Van Scoyk also claims the Westfalls had a duty to maintain their property and trees so that they did not become a nuisance to adjoining property owners.

Represented by Sarah Rubenstein of Schultz & Associates in Chesterfield, Mo., Van Scoyk is seeking $65,017.23 in damages, plus all costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

08 L 473

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