Reply to post by Guy, on September 04, 2002 at 17:54:49:
Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.
I think there is a strong case to be made that the real impact of some of this case law, particularly if the industry embraces and encourages it, will not be either tree friendly or tree-business friendly.
That may seem counter-intuitive. But what this type of case law is saying is that experts can reliably identify all problems and effectively treat all problems. In fact the ordinary layman should be able to anticipate such problems and with this omniscience virtually no problems are naturally occurring or even if some occur naturally they cannot be acts of GOd becasue the are all forseeable. It takes what might be some random occurrences or some base level frequency of occurrences and makes them all somebody's responsibility. Makes them all actionable.
The lawyers have said "this is your fault" and we've siad "OK it's out faullt and from no on we'll just fork over the money if such thing occur." And next time the bar gets lower. And then lower. So we volunteer to be responsible for everything. It's absurd.
IMO this will reach a stage where public safety is not materially increased, where the cost of ownership is increased, where the aggregate canopy is decreased becasue no risks are tolerable and where liability for experts (anybody in the biz) is increased. All across the board.
Our ability to predict problems and failure is way overstated. The need for our intervention is way overstated. And every toime we intervene we then, by that intervention, let responsibilty attach.
There have been a number of other threads on this.
Reply to post by Scott Cullen, on September 07, 2002 at 18:17:37:
Scott, I share your concern about the net result of all this being aggreagate loss of canopy. Parents of a hurt kid (how hurt? wish we knew. we hear about many cases from Ca but finding details is tough) who spurn $99k and go for $500k shows to me that awards are often excessive.
No wonder cities and other managers want to cut down anything that might look risky. Combatting that trend is tough. All this has me rethinking the shift from managing to consulting that's been underway. When I'm managing I know I'm usually doing the right thing, and the tree owner knows it too.
But if intervening on the broader, consultative level just makes things worse why do it? What's the answer?
Reply to post by Scott, on September 09, 2002 at 10:02:05:
If the landowner with the euc's had a competant epert witness that could have refuted the hack the other side had retained...to paraphrase him "you gotta top 'em, I've been doing it for years!" she may have been better off.
Homeowners and the leagal comunity needs to know that there are RCA's out there. It was newsto me till I stumbled on this site a number of years ago.
A very good example of bad presedent is the UK's foundation and tree issues where any tree near a structure is getting removed.