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The value is about $25,000.00
My logging contractor has crossed the line (there is NO survey) and removed two loads (one poplar and one hardwood). Total value of wood removed is about 1,500.00
I arranged a meeting with the neighbor and the contractor on location.
The contractor admitted that his employees had made a mistake.
The contractor offered to do clean up and pay $2,500.00 compensation.
The neighbor refused this offer and demanded $10,000 in damages.
At first the neighbor was going to sue the contractor, but now he decided to seek damages from me. I and my wife are the owners of the property.
To put pressure on me the neighbor threatens to put all the cost of the legal action on me, which in final conclusion could cost me a lot more.
Is it true that in Quebec the loosing party does not have to pay the legal costs of the winning party?
And finally, I do not understand why I could be liable for any damages.
I hired the contractor to cut trees on my property, not the neighbor's.
In fact I marked the line (to best of my abilities), and the neighbor agreed on the line. Unfortunately, some hunters placed red ribbons in other parts of the property and that caused confusion. Is the neighbor not guilty of negligence (allowing multiple sets of ribbons on his property, knowing well that there is logging going on).
Sorry, is that too many questions?
Thank you for your answer.
I understand I would not have to pay lawyer fees. Thank you for this information.
How about other costs?
If the neighbor decides to pay for expertise, such as surveys,
damage report, etc. (these are usually quite expensive) - do I run
a risk of having to pay for these (in case he wins)?
What the neighbor is unhappy about?
This is difficult to understand, unless one considers an opportunity to make some easy money.
This is a bush lot, where he also cuts trees. In fact in the past he crossed the line and cut my trees (he admitted that). He said "I may have cut on you, because I thought the line was further down that way".
Now he claims because of the contractor's mistake his lot has lost value and he will have to look at this "for the rest of his life".
During the same conversation he states that he had a party interested in buying his lot, but now they will not want to buy because of the missing trees.
He does not want to be compensated for the tress, but for the lost value of his lot.
Knowing this man and the lack of consistency in his statements I strongly believe he is simply interested in "free" money.
Of course damage was done and I understand he is entitled to compensation. However the compensation needs to be proportionate to the actual damage, not some imaginary, but real.
I do not understand if he can claim more than the value of the wood removed (almost 7 times more) from his lot. This is not a park or a cottage lot. This is a bush lot where the only value is the wood, and where he cuts trees, too.
He seems to be trying to scare me with the cost of the lawsuit, surveys,etc.
This is extortion.
Extortion (also called shakedown, outwresting, and exaction) is a criminal offence of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion (threats or intimidation).
Does the Quebec Civil Code have a provision for this kind of situation?
Can I counter sue him for extortion?
Surely there must be a reasonable expectation to what he may want as a settlement.
I can see $200 per tree in some more attractive location, but this is a bush lot where he too cuts trees. The trees cut were worth $1500 at the mill.
He wants $10,000 or my 50 acres !!!
So my 50 acres are worth 10,000 while his one acre is also worth 10,000? If this is not extortion I do not know what is.
Are you saying he can demand whatever he wants ???
He is also talking of adding a clam for his stress, etc.
In fact he says there is no end to what he wants.
This is causing my family a lot of stress - much more that it would be reasonable.
The reason I am asking you is because you (and this site) offer answers.
This is what I expected when I signed up.
I know I can hire a lawyer, but then what about your offer to answer questions?
So I repeat my question: Can I counter-sue for his unreasonable demands?
Yes, he admitted he cut on me in the past.
But let's leave this.
I have another question.
He claims his lawyer told him he has to sue me, not the contractor.
I know I own the land, but it was his people who went to cut where I repeatedly told them not to go.
In fact I do not know the details of what happened.
He claims one thing, the contractor claims another.
Clearly they are in conflict and I am in the middle (without knowing all the facts).
I cannot defend myself because I do not even know the details of how all this happened.
In short: is my neighbour correct in believing that he has no choice as to whom he must sue, and that he MUST only sue me even though I did not cut his trees?