In a recent case, the Maine Supreme Court recently affirmed a jury’s decision not to award damages to a man injured while helping his neighbor cut down a tree. At the trial, the man alleged that his injuries were the direct result of his neighbor’s negligence.
According to the court’s opinion, the defendant asked his neighbor to help him cut down a dying tree on his property. The tree was more than two feet in diameter and had at least one large limb growing from the trunk. The plaintiff used a chainsaw to cut a wedge just below the limb, while the property owner used the bucket of his compact front loader to guide the limb away from his house. As the men continued to cut down the tree, the limb fell and pinned the plaintiff to the ground. He was also knocked unconscious and suffered several other injures.
As a result of his injuries, the man sued the property owner, alleging that he failed to warn him that the limb could break unexpectedly due to the tree’s rotted condition. He also alleged that the property owner was negligent in his operation of the compact loader.