Lawsuit Highlights Celebrities Not Immune to Property Disputes

entertainment lawyer NYCA recent entertainment lawsuit highlights that even celebrities are not immune to property disputes.  Actor Eric Dane, of Grey’s Anatomy fame, has filed a lawsuit against the Smashing Pumpkins’ singer Billy Corgan, alleging that a fallen tree caused substantial damage.

The lawsuit alleges that the tree on Corgan’s property came down in a November 2011 storm and landed on Dane’s house, setting off the sprinkler system and bringing down power lines. Dane’s pregnant wife, actress Rebecca Gayheart, was home alone and was forced to flee with their 20-month-old daughter, according to ABC News. The home was flooded and “surrounded by live high voltage wires, and without the benefit of any light whatsoever,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit alleges that Corgan was aware that the trees posed a potential danger to neighboring properties, citing prior damage to another home It asserts claims for nuisance, negligence, and injunctive relief. The lawsuit specifically seeks an order requiring Corgan to remove the “remaining improperly maintained and/or rotten eucalyptus trees.”

Corgan, meanwhile, maintains that he was not aware that the tress posed a danger. In response to the lawsuit, he stated, “I was horrified when I learned about the tree falling. . . . Thankfully, no one was injured.”

Ultimately, this case will likely come down to whether Corgan was on notice about the risk posed by the trees on his property. This is assuming, of course, that the parties do not reach a settlement.

For more information about this case or the issues raised, please contact Anthony Caruso, Chair of Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Sports and Entertainment Law Group.


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Anthony R. Caruso is a business transactional attorney in New York and New Jersey with experience in structuring, negotiation and completion of legal deals involving business, entrepreneurs, athletes and performers.

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