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Kroulik v. Knuppel

Colorado Court of Appeals
634 P.2d 1027 (1981)


Raymond Knuppel (defendant) purchased property adjoining the property of Charles Kroulik and Claire Kroulik (plaintiffs). Knuppel’s property included the gravel bar between the properties, and Knuppel leased the gravel bar to Burnett Construction Company (Burnett) (defendant), which conducted mining operations to extract minerals for two years. The Krouliks brought suit against Knuppel and Burnett, alleging that the Krouliks owned the gravel bar. The trial court held that the gravel bar belonged to the Krouliks by adverse possession. The Krouliks then sought damages for the extracted gravel and for the destruction of a 73-year-old pine tree. At the damages hearing, an expert witness testified that the pine tree was worth $8.40 for lumber and $229.63 for aesthetic value. The trial court concluded that the defendants were not willful trespassers and that the Krouliks were owed damages in the amount of $1,500 for the aesthetic value of the tree and in the amount of Burnett’s royalty payments made to Knuppel for the extracted minerals. The defendants appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in its award for the aesthetic value of the pine tree. The Krouliks cross-appealed, arguing that the trial court should have used the value of the gravel extracted less the extraction costs to calculate damages.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kirshbaum, J.)

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