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2 ON YOUR SIDE: Who foots bill for driveway damage caused by tree roots?

1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, February 27 2024 Feb 27, 2024 February 27, 2024 3:39 PM February 27, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — As a concrete mixing truck backed up to Ginger Simon's driveway on Tuesday morning, she felt a huge weight lifted off of her shoulders.

"I can't wait to just be like a normal person and just go home from work and just drive," she said.

Two weeks ago, her driveway was a wreck. She blamed tree roots for creating the mess that slowly deteriorated her property.

"When I pull out of my driveway I feel like I'm on an airplane because I'm jiggling," Simon said earlier this month.

The tree roots came from a tree that once grew on her neighbor's property. That tree was taken down awhile ago, but the stump remained. She says over the past year or so the roots caused significant damage to her property and the sidewalk in front of her neighbor's house.

"It's getting worse and worse and worse," she said.

Unable to reach a resolution with her neighbor she called 2 On Your Side. Simon said she could not afford the repairs herself and didn't think she should have to foot the bill. Richard Jackson lives next door to Simon.

"She's got to be willing to meet us halfway, at least," said Jackson.

The day after we met Simon and Jackson, the tree stump was removed. Soon after, Simon reached out to Jackson via text message and the two came to an agreement to split the cost of repairs.

The hope was that the two neighbors could come to an agreement, since it appears the law is on Simon's side. A Louisiana Civil Code says that a landowner has the right to demand branches or roots of a neighbor's tree, bushes or plants that extend over or into their property be trimmed at the expense of the neighbor. LSU Law Professor John Lovett says the law is very clear.

"The real question would be whether the roots interfere with that person's enjoyment of their property, in this case the driveway," said Lovett.

In this case, Simon and Jackson came to an agreement.

"Without you all it would not have happened," said Simon.

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