Suing the council not worth cost

IF YOU park your car under a council-owned tree and branches, pine cones or seed pods fall and ding your car, is the council liable?

This was a question The DEX thought needed to be answered after a Clarence Valley resident took to social media to complain.

The resident said they would take the bill to the council after falling pine cones dinged their vehicle.

But civil liability lawyer Peter James said the cost of suing councils over this sort of thing was prohibitive.

"Councils have been given immunity from legal action under the Civil Liability Act," Mr James said.

"So it is very difficult to make a council liable for damage to a car from falling seed pods or pine cones.

"Moreover, if a limb fell out of a tree it would be difficult to make a council liable unless it could be established the council was well aware of the possibility of the limb falling and had failed to respond in timely manner."

He said another complication was whether the council had planted the tree.



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