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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69256
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Our 6 foot fence blew over in the recent hurricane and damaged

Customer Question

Our 6 foot fence blew over in the recent hurricane and damaged a ground light of the neighbouring care home, which is once of many lighting the drive. All the lights are now working, (I have a photo), but the care home owner says the light is still damaged and the model is no longer available. He telephoned with an implied threat that we would have to pay for all new lights of an available model. How do we stand?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What is the extent of the damage to this light?

How much will it cost to replace the light assuming that they were available?

How much will it cost to replace them all?

How "immaculate" are the grounds of this care home?

Is anything available which is "similar"

How old are the lights or do you think he is looking to replace an old skanky system with a new one?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear Jo C


I can see no damage to the light, but it may be loose in the ground. I don't want to touch it to find out.


I don't know how much these lights cost him, and I don't intend to call him.

I do know that to replace them all would cost a great deal; perhaps up to £800 - £1000.


The grounds of the care home are immaculate. It is an expensive prestigious place.


The lights are only about two years old, as is the care home.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.

You are probably responsible for the damage in negligence I'm afraid.

It is the quantum (value) which is in issue. If the lighting system was an old system you have more chance of claiming that to replace it all would be betterment however as it is less than two years old that will probably not work.

If it is loose in the ground, then it is a simple job of reinstating it but that could cost several hundred pounds because if it has been damaged, it will need to be tested.

If there is physical damage, he is entitled to be put back in the situation that he would have been had the damage not occurred.

If you have house insurance that covers this, you may want to refer this matter to your insurer because this could well cost more than your estimate.

If there is a very similar light available to replace one which has been damaged the judge may only award that cost.

If we look at a ridiculous example to prove the point. If the existing ones were black and black was no longer made and they could now only get white, it is not unreasonable for you to have to replace them all.

At this stage, probably the worst thing that you can do is ignore the situation otherwise if you do, whoever owns next door is likely to get an estimate to do the work and simply issue court proceedings against you. I can understand that you may not want a tirade of abuse from next door in which case you might want to put everything in writing and ask him to let you have details of the damage including photographs and an estimate for repairing and then you will consider the matter or pass it to your insurer as you think appropriate.

There is one thing which really goes back to the beginning of this answer which may absolve you of liability altogether. That is that if the wind was of such proportions that no reasonable fence could have withstood it (hurricane or tornado force), you could possibly escape liability altogether. However for that to be the case you are going to need meteorological reports and evidence that there was widespread devastation.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69256
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile

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