Man Sues Developer, Claims 100-year-old Trees Were Destroyed

March 11, 1992|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Staff writer

An Elkridge man has filed a lawsuit against a Columbia developer, claiming that 100-year-old trees on his property were destroyed during construction of a residential development.

In a lawsuit filed in Howard County Circuit Court, Jack G. Palmer Jr., claims that the company Trafalgar House stripped his land of $86,665 worth of trees duringgrading in a development called "Willowood."

Palmer, of the 6200 block of Meadowridge Road, maintains that thedeveloper destroyed 30 to 40 trees in April, despite two warnings from Palmer that the trees were on his property.

Palmer is asking for $300,000 in punitive damages, as well as the replacement cost of the trees. Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are the surveyor, Gutschick, Little and Weber, and RLO Contractors.

Trafalgar House managers were unavailable for comment.

According to the suit, the developer, had marked the common boundary of Palmer's land and the developer's land with orange flags.

Palmer noticed the flags on April 14, and the next day he informed the surveyor that the flags were on his property and several of his trees had been destroyed. The surveyor reviewed the lot and marked the correct boundary line, the suit said.

On April 17, the contractor ignored the new markers and clearedthe trees, Palmer claims.

"They evidently told Mr. Palmer they would respect the line and then they didn't," said Barry Silber, Palmer's lawyer.

"Everything was gone; the stumps, everything," he said.

Palmer said a small buffer of trees is still standing, but doesn't provide the privacy he once had.

The destroyed trees include locust, red maple, cherry, American holly, ash, sweet gum, poplar, dogwood and oak.

Palmer said many of the trees were 80 to 100 years oldand stood 90 feet tall.

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