Fondren v. Redwine

905 S.W.2d 156 (1995)

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Fondren v. Redwine

Missouri Court of Appeals
905 S.W.2d 156 (1995)

KL

Facts

Brad Redwine (defendant) attempted to pass another vehicle while driving, lost control of his vehicle, and entered the front yard of Kyle and Hildegard Fondren (plaintiffs). Redwine’s vehicle struck a large tree in the Fondrens’ front yard, permanently injuring the tree. It was undisputed at trial that Redwine lacked permission to enter the Fondrens’ property. Redwine testified that he unintentionally entered the Fondrens’ property. The Fondrens sued Redwine under a Missouri statute that provided a cause of action for treble damages for trespass to land that resulted in injury to a property owner’s tree. The trial court rejected the Fondrens’ proposed jury instruction under the trespass statute and instead issued a negligence-damage instruction, resulting in a verdict for the Fondrens for a lesser amount of damages. The Fondrens appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by rejecting the jury instruction. Redwine cross-appealed, arguing that the Fondrens had failed to plead the elements of a trespass.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ahrens, J.)

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