On February 12th 2009, as I was driving to work, a tree that was on the town of Islip’s property in New York fell on my car. The car was a pristine 20 year old Porsche 944S with 67,000 original miles. The car had been pampered it’s whole “life” and won several best of class awards given by the Porsche club of America in 2005 and 2006. I purchase the car the previous year for $8,000 and had only put 1,300 miles on it since I owned it. The tree that fell on the car caused damage to the roof, windshield, passenger door but I was not injured other than some glass in my hand. I had the car taken to a reputable body shop and their estimate was that the car would cost about $6000 or more to fix. They said that it was a particularly expensive job because the tree had damaged the roof. The auto body shop charged me over $400 to have the car towed to the shop and then back to my home. Since it was second vehicle there was no need for me to rent a car.
At the scene of the accident I immediately filed a report with the Suffolk County Police (central complaint # 09-70661). After that I called the town and filed a report with the Town of Islip’s Police officer (complaint # 09-0444) and he advised me to contact the Islip town attorney’s office. The Islip town attorney’s office advised me they would mail out a accident report for me to fill and further advised me to include the estimate from the auto body shop. I filled out their form and let them know that I had no collision insurance on the car.
One week later an employee from the town of Islip department of transportation came to my job and had me point the tree out to him. He told me the tree was rotted and needed to come down. They marked the tree with paint but as of March 9th, 2009 have yet to remove it.
Today, March 9th 2009, I received a letter from the Town of Islip advising me that they feel they have absolutely no responsibility for the damage to my car.
Now I have no choice but to pay out of my pocket for a lawyer to dispute what should have been a clean claim for the damage done to my property by the Town of Islip’s tree
If a tree that is on my property falls on someone and destroys their property I would be liable, so why does the Town of Islip think they are above the law?