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ARTICLE ID 147278

$________ AGAINST DEFENDANT LUMBER COMPANY, $________ AGAINST PRIMARILY LIABLE THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT Timber trespass - Unauthorized harvesting of timber - Failure to ascertain ownership of land.

Fayette County

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant lumber company trespassed on her land and cut timber without authorization. The defendant lumber company maintained that the plaintiff’s brother, an additional defendant in the case, accepted the lumber company’s bid to harvest the timber and represented that he owned the land.

The plaintiff complained that the defendant lumber company entered her land and cut the trees growing there without her permission. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant had a duty to obtain a title abstract to ensure ownership of the land prior to harvesting the trees. The plaintiff asserted that she was not paid for the lumber taken.

The defendant lumber company argued that it had a reasonable basis for believing that the land on which the timber was cut belonged to the additional defendant, the plaintiff’s brother. The additional defendant lived on or near the property and displayed an intimate familiarity with the property and its boundaries, according to the defense. In addition, the defendant lumber company argued that the additional defendant is the son of and has the same last name as one of the previous owners of record and represented that the property had been given to him by his father. The defendant lumber company paid the additional defendant $________ for the timber in question, according to evidence offered.

The court found the additional defendant (plaintiff’s brother) primarily liable in the amount of $________ (including treble damages based on fraud). The court found the defendant lumber company secondarily liable for $________, representing the market value of the timber cut. The court ordered that any money collected from the additional defendant will be credited towards the judgment against the defendant lumber company.

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