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No Duty to Defend Encroachment Action building fence & trimming Trees (Albert v. Mid-Century Ins. (2015) 236 CA4th 1281

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2016 | Insurance, Neighbor Disputes |


The court in Albert v Mid-Century Ins. Co. (2015) 236 CA4th 1281 held that an insurer did not have a duty to defend the homeowner in a suit for encroachment arising out of the building of a fence and trimming of trees, because the acts were taken intentionally even if the damage was an accident or unintended result.   The encroaching neighbor not only effectively stole land along an access easement, but cut a bunch of olive trees.  Olive trees are special, they can live to be over 1000 years old  and should not be damaged.  It is ironic that this is a neighbor dispute over olive trees.  In Scripture when the dove returned to Noah’s ark carrying an olive branch in its beak (Gen.8:11). Since that time, the olive branch has been a symbol of “peace” to the world, and we often hear the expression, “extending an olive branch” to another person as a desire for peace.