Measure Twice Before Cutting

October 1, 2019 Posted in Case Law Review

Washington’s Supreme Court has clarified that timber trespass is a strict liability tort. This is significant because strict liability does not require proof of negligence or intent to do harm. This means that a neighboring property owner or a logger or anyone else involved in the wrongful cutting of the timber is liable for damages even if that person can prove that the trespass was not willful but was instead done with the belief that the land on which such trespass was committed was his or her own. When in doubt, it is advisable to properly delineate boundary lines before logging the property. Porter v. Kirkendoll, 194 Wash. 2d 194 (2019).

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