Schuver

Two Millstadt homeowners allege their neighbors refuse to remove a tree that has invaded their property and has rendered a portion of their home uninhabitable.

Edward and Ruth Haas filed a lawsuit July 25 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Tom and Kelly Simmonds.

In their complaint, the Haas allege the Simmonds planted a large tree on their property near the boundary of the two homes. Since then, they have allowed the tree to grow and extend onto the Haas' property and to hang over their home, according to the complaint.

"The tree's presence above plaintiffs' home has rendered the area above plaintiff's home wholly unusable to plaintiffs and has created an unsafe and dangerous condition which threatens the plaintiffs' home, realty, personal property and personal safety," the suit states.

Although the Haas have requested the Simmonds remove the tree multiple times, their neighbors refuse to do so, the complaint says.

As a result of their neighbors' actions, the Haases claim they have suffered severe emotional distress.

"Defendants knew, or should have known, that Edward Haas suffers from bipolar disorder and is particularly susceptible to anxiety and emotional distress," the suit states. "Defendants knew, or should have known, that Ruth Haas is an elderly woman who suffers from various disabilities and is particularly susceptible to anxiety and emotional distress."

In their four-count complaint, the Haas seek an order directing the Simmonds to cease all trespass onto their property, an order that the Simmonds remove the tree and other relief the court deems just. They also seek a judgment of more than $100,000, plus interest and costs.

Mark S. Schuver of Mathis, Marifian and Richter in Belleville will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-381.

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