make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Follow-up: City claimed tree causes damage to a house

READ MORE: Follow-up: City claimed tree causes damage to a house
Some Wilmington residents say the city is to blame for a tree that crashed into their home during tropical storm Hanna. They said the tree was damaged, and should have been removed. A city spokesperson says there was nothing wrong with the tree, and the city is not responsible for the damage. The residents are not happy with the city's decision. Harold Horne, a resident affected by the downed tree, said, “I don't think it's my insurance responsibility to pay for this, the tree was planted on city property”. Horne and his neighbor Nancy O'dell said the tree was damaged before the storm and they also said they've repeatedly asked the city to cut it down. Now, they expect the city to pay for their repairs, and the city said no. Malissa Talbert, a Wilmington spokesperson stated, “The tree was in very good health. There were no problems with the tree, so really it fell because of the hurricane and we consider that an act of nature, not anything that the city could control.” Malissa Talbert said a city crew checked the tree a year ago, and that it was fine. Frustrating news for Horne and his neighbor, who will have to go through their homeowners insurance, in order to get their repairs paid. If you’re concerned about the health of a city tree in your neighborhood you call the city at 910-341-7852. The city's solid waste crews are picking up yard debris left by Hanna. Residents should leave their debris at the curb for pick-up. If you have questions call 910-341-7875.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


So which was there

So which was there first.....the tree or the house? If you cut a tree down and it falls on your neighbor's house, then they are legally responsible. If it is an act of God, they certainly can't control that! The homeowner needs to call their own insurance company. I agree with one of the statements where they talked about the mentality of suing people for everything...its ridiculous!


If the tree was that unhealthy and people in the neighborhood complained about it then there should be reports in writing in the department where they complained about it. There should also be reports if an inspector came out to look at the tree. Did anyone take pictures of this tree and it's problems? Everyone who made reports on this tree needs to get together and compile dates,times, and any notes about this problem. Then see what the city says when an attorney contacts them and papers are filed and the proof is in their face.

Are you not responsible for

Are you not responsible for what you own? The city owned that tree. Especially, if the homeowner had warned the city that the tree was a threat to his house, is not the city then responsible to ensure that the threat it has been warned of does not become a reality? Is the city simply allowed to reply "Oh well, what nature will do, nature will do"? One's house is extremely important - far more important than any tree. I do not understand why a homeowner can be forced by the owner of a tree that is a menace to his house to be forced to accept that disastrous, avoidable damage may be done just because the owner of the tree does not want to cut it down, or at least cut it lower. The wind that knocked the tree down may have been an "act of nature", but human beings had control over whether or not the tree was allowed to remain there as a threat to that house, after the owner asked that the threat be eliminated.


So, if your neighbor tells you to cut down a nice tree in your yard because there is a chance it might fall on and damage their property, you would do this? Hmmm... Looks like Wilmington will be without a lot of greenery. I know, let's just get rid of all the trees and look like one of those developments off Gordon Road!

For the 958th and last time

A healthy, fully rooted tree is NOT a menace under law. It is not recognized as a threat under law. A dead, diseased, or leaning tree IS a dangerous tree and does expose you to liability. You may not like it, but live with it. It's the law.


If the city were to pay, this could open up a law suit for everyone else that has been thru the same thing. Like I said, I had a tree fall from my neighbors yard during Fran, My neighbor offered his insurance company to me when I called his insurance they told me that they would not pay for the damages because it was a act of nature my neighbor did not push the tree into my yard the wind did. So when I contacted my insurance company he explained it to me better. But because it was a act of nature my premiums didn't go up. People just need to accept the fact that they aren't the only one that has gone thru this. Call your insurance company if they think the city should pay for it let them pursue it. They own there own lawyers.

Fallen Tree

If the tree was on city property then the city should definitely pay. I had a healthy 50ft. tree uproot during the storm and fell on my house. My insurance adjuster has already been to my house to assess the damages to my roof, wall and removal of the tree. Pay up City of Wilmington, you will lose if this goes to court.


To keep a problem like this from happening again, maybe the city should remove all trees from city property.

This act of nature and act

This act of nature and act of God BS that insurance companies and cities hide behind to keep from paying for damages in unfair. If the tree was healthy, what little bit of storm we had would not have knocked it down. The city is responsible because it was on their property and damaged someone elses property. Pay up Wilmington!


I wouldn't call 70+ mile per hour winds nothing...the tree fell as a result of NATURE...not the cities fault...this is just another FINE example of...ITS NOT MY FAULT SO LETS SUE mentality of this flipping country that makes me want to HURL!

Reply to Guest360

Yes the storm was small, but I had an 80 foot tree fall and it was healthy. Explain that one to me! Sometimes it just happens and we just have to pay for it. I paid for mine! They should not be doing the blame game, they should just take care of the problem. That is why we pay for insurance!

Heaslthy or unhealthy, the

Heaslthy or unhealthy, the city owned the tree and is responsible for what it owns. Those homeowners repeatedly told the city its tree was a threat to their homes, and they had a right to expect the owner of the tree - whoever that might be - to act on their warning and prevent this preventable disaster happening to their house, by either cutting the tree down or cutting it to a substantially shorter height. You have a right to live your life without your neighbors or their belongings (the neighbor in this case being the city)adversely impacting you WHEN SUCH ADVERSE IMPACT IS AVOIDABLE. They saw the danger to their houses, they told the city to take action to ensure that its tree could not ever cave in their houses, the city did nothing, and now a house is caved in. And the city has the gall to say it has no responsibility. In the USA, I see government becoming ever more arrogant.


it doesn't help that the insurance companies have ROYALLY screwed us this year....the state allowed a HUGE increase in insurance prices to allow the companies to take care of "Katrina" like damage....THEN the insurance companies turned around and added a "Hurricane Deductible" which really amounts to a double dipping for the same thing....the whole Hurricane deductible thing really TORQUES ME!