Council killed my entire bonsai plant collection..

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Council killed my entire bonsai plant collection..

Postby GreenChi » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:34 am

Hi folks,
I wonder if I may get some advice here.

The council came to do some work on the block I live in and scaffolded the entire building back and front. This also included wrapping the whole block
in a plastic blue mess that reduced the light into every home by around 50%.

This work was only meant to take a year but dragged on for three and a half years! Many people suffered vitamin D deficiencies due to the natural light
into their homes being reduced so drastically and for so long including me. We were all affectively put into and 3.5 year winter. I personally suffered
health issues as a result of this but that's another issue.

But the worst part is that this drastic light reduction resulted in the death of almost all my plants.

The council have admitted liability and sent me a claim form and said they would compensate me the cost to replace my plants. They kind of choked when I told them they were practically all bonsai trees.

I had about 72 plants in my home almost every single one planted from seed or cutting, many took several years to even stratify and germinate.
Some of these plants I started from a single tiny leaf with my mother when I was 15 years old. I am now 53 so I have been tending, nurturing and caring for them for 38 years.

The council killed and wiped out the last living memory I had of my mother who died of cancer 12 years ago. All dead.

The basic cost to replace just some of my plants in terms of young samplings is £2,000. Many of my specimens are completely irreplaceable.

In fact to me ALL of these plants are completely irreplaceable, you simply can not buy if you wanted to them as they do not exist anywhere. 38 years of my life cultivating and nurturing these plants is irreplaceable.

How do you put a price on 38 years of your life’s hobby and work and such deep and personal life memories?

They have basically wiped out my whole collection that gave meaning to my life and pleasure and joy. I have almost nothing left and am now struggling to start them all over again.

Worst of all they have erased and destroyed all the living things that kept me close to my mother and her memory. You cannot imagine the sadness, grief, deeply hurt feelings and pain this has caused me. I have no family
and keep to myself so my plants were kind of my life..

Nothing can undo this.

What kind of compensation should I be seeking from the councils insurers?

Thank you.
GreenChi
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:06 am

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Re: Council killed my entire bonsai plant collection..

Postby ukmicky » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:34 pm

I do not know how to value your loss but you need to be careful here. Just because they accept liability currently doesn't mean they cant change their minds in the future if you ask for to much.

If they did change their minds which they can legally do and it came to a court case they may have a case to argue that the works were reasonable and even if the court deemed them not to be ,they may find you are to blame to some degree because you should have taken some form of action ,legal if need be to prevent their death once you realized they were suffering due to the light loss..

if I was the council that would be part of my defense against a claim for damages
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
ukmicky
 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: London

Re: Council killed my entire bonsai plant collection..

Postby GreenChi » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:37 am

Thanks for the reply.

They have already written to the whole block stating that the works went on for an unreasonable amount of time, like 2.5 years of unreasonable because the contractors
they used were completely incompetent messing up all the work so that much of it had to be repeated several times. They were eventually kicked off the contract and
another firm had to be brought in to complete the work. So the fault and liability is entirely theirs as it's been a total distaster There were 5 other blocks that incurred the exact same issues and have
already been compensated varying amounts depending on their individual situations and cases.

It's not just me, the entire block had issues because of it, 2 tenants were hospitalised from asthmatic attacks caused by the 3.5 years of dust and have medical claims.
Two others had their plant collections completely wiped out inclusing one elderly lady whose plants were over 40 years old.

I'm not sure what kind of action one is meant to take when you have a tropical pathos plant (Epipremnum aureum) growing almost 21 feet in length suspended and trailing around
your entire living room. Some of these people had their homes and balconies full of plants which were all killed. How are they meant to save them when you live in a flat and have
nowhere else to go?

A resident on the top floor who suffered a bad leak in his living room ceiling due to them cocking up the roof they were replacing received £5,000 compensation.

This councils own policy states they will compensate you if they are responsible for damage to your personal property as well as hurt, emotional distress and grief which a lot of people
are unaware of.

The law also supports this.
GreenChi
 
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Re: Council killed my entire bonsai plant collection..

Postby despair » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:27 am

Can you get quotes to replace your bonsai with equivalent size of mature bonsai trees
You should be compensated on a like for like basis and the council itself has to sue the faulty contractor but you may need to issue proceedings against them too
despair
 
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Re: Council killed my entire bonsai plant collection..

Postby GreenChi » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:19 pm

Thanks Despair for the reply.

Yes I have already looked up and calculated and sent them the cost of as many of the plants as I can find but many just do not exist. You simply can't buy them anywhere.
GreenChi
 
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:06 am

Re: Council killed my entire bonsai plant collection..

Postby ukmicky » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:29 am

At the time that you first noticed your plants were suffering did you write to the council and let them know what was happening. If you did and they did nothing ,did you look to see if the bonsai could be temporarily housed somewhere else .

It obviously took a lot of time for your plants to die, did you not consider taking legal action before the plants died , the law expects someone whos rights are being legally infringed ,if yours have been ,not to just sit back and take it.

A house or a flat if it has a right to light (because not all properties do ) only has a right to reasonable amount of light , enough for it to function as living accommodation. Were you light requirements for your plants (not yourself)beyond what was reasonable. ?

Paying out to somebody £5000 for something that happened very quickly like a flood from a leaking roof ,may be viewed differently by the council and their insurance company ,if potentially they may have to pay out £100,000 or more to someone for something that could have and should have been avoided due to how much notice there was that damage was occurring.


You may be lucky and the council may pay out with no argument but be prepared if they don't.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
ukmicky
 
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Location: London


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