Kodiak man awarded $493K for tree damage

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010

KODIAK - A Kodiak jury has awarded nearly a half-million dollars to a landowner whose neighbors cut down 70 of his trees five years ago.

The jury awarded $161,000 for the cost of replacing the trees plus $3,500 for the value of the timber to Paul Harder. The damages were tripled - to $493,000 - under an Alaska law that deals with timber trespasses.

Harder's neighbors at Monashka Bay, Joel and Darlene Wiersum - paid to cut down the trees so they would not fall during storms on a fence they planned go build. They said they had been led to believe they had permission to clear them from Harder's sister.

The Wiersums' attorney says they may appeal the verdict.

When the trees were cut, Harder, a commercial fisherman, was living in Washington, where his son was in high school.

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