Successfully resolved a lawsuit against an adjacent property owner for improperly removing trees and other vegetation from the association’s common elements.
An association had a large “pond” as part of its common elements, which was surrounded by various vegetation and small willow trees. An adjoining landowner had an easement granted by the original developer to run a drainage pipe through the common elements to the pond to assist in the drainage of his property. The owner unilaterally removed several willow trees and a substantial amount of the vegetation without the association board approval. The owner claimed the willow trees were interfering with his drainage and he was entitled to remove them pursuant to the easement. Kaman & Cusimano initiated a lawsuit against the property owner alleging trespass, violation of the easement and seeking ejectment and compensatory damages for the lost willow trees, as well as attorneys’ fees, asserting that the owner’s actions went substantially beyond the terms of the easement. As a result of the lawsuit, Kaman & Cusimano not only obtained compensation for the lost willow trees and vegetation, but also recovered $5,000.00 for the association attorneys’ fees.