Dispute Over Snapped Limb Damage

It’s not the wind that brought a huge limb crashing down in west Omaha. The damage is man made and a homeowner says a city contractor should pay. But a city ordinance lets them off the hook.

Homeowner Linda Johnson says, " It was loud, my neighbors all heard it." Johnson says a Deffenbaugh garbage truck snapped the branch that trashed her fence.Johnson says she talked tot he driver. "I just asked him what the hell he had done to my yard."

But Deffenbaugh refuses to take responsibility because city ordinance says over hanging limbs have to be at least 12 feet above the street. Trimming is up to the homeowner. Johnson said, "I didn't know anything about it or I probably would have had the tree trimmed.."

Linda says low branches can be found all over town. An arborist has told her the tree has to come down about a $1,600 expense add in five hundred dollars for the fence and she's looking for a damage cost well over two thousand dollars.

Johnson says, "I can't afford it that’s for sure. I just feel Deffenbaugh should be the one responsible for it."

A Deffenbaugh spokesman Tom Coffman tells Fact Finders, It’s not our responsibility but we offered to fix the fence because it’s nice thing to do." The trash hauler says it has a repair crew that does a good job.
But Linda Johnson says, "Just picking it up and putting it back in the post is not going to make it sturdy to keep my dogs from getting out."

Linda’s home owners insurance may cover tree removal and new fence installation. But that's a claim on her policy with a thousand dollar deductible. So the 70 year old widow worries about being out on a limb financially.

All property owners need to know if they have a tree limb that hangs over a street. Branches must be kept twelve feet above minor streets and alleys. No lower than fourteen feet over major streets.

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