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Landowner Not Liable For Hidden Defect In Fallen Tree

January 8, 2009

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In <i>Down v. Town of Oyster Bay</i>, the Supreme Court of Nassau County recently held that a tree's internal staining and discoloration are not outwardly visible signs of a defect and, in doing so, granted the property owner summary judgment against the plaintiff’s claim that she was injured by the defendant’s falling tree. The court declined to impose a duty on a landowner to constantly check all trees for non-visible decay. Instead, the court held that a landowner is only required to take action if there are signs of decay or disease readily observable.
<a href="http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/10JD/Nassau/decisions/INDEX/INDEX_new/LALLY/2008DEC/001125-07.pdf">http://decisions.courts.state.ny.us/10JD/Nassau/decisions/INDEX/INDEX_new/LALLY/2008DEC/001125-07.pdf</a>

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