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Appeals court upholds dismissal of tree-cutting case in Struthers

Published: Wed, September 26, 2012 @ 12:06 a.m.

Staff report


The 7th District Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld a trial judge’s dismissal of a complaint by a Struthers couple concerning Ohio Edison’s tree- cutting practices.

The appeals court’s Tuesday ruling pertained to a $10 million lawsuit brought against the electric utility by Raymond and Maria DeLost of Lakeshore Drive, Struthers, after the utility’s tree-cutter chopped down 21 white pine trees in a power-line easement that runs through the couple’s backyard July 1, 2008.

Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court dismissed the case without a trial in October 2010, saying Ohio Edison had a proper easement to remove the trees and landowners have no right to damages for tree removal within a valid utility easement.

“The only remaining question about Ohio Edison’s decision to cut down, rather than trim, trees is a vegetation- management question and falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the PUCO to determine,” the appeals court ruled.

The PUCO is the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which regulates utilities such as Ohio Edison.

A complaint by the DeLosts against Ohio Edison concerning the tree-cutting still is pending before that commission.

Raymond DeLost, who is a lawyer, said he will appeal the 7th District Court decision to the Ohio Supreme Court because he said the appellate court “did not properly address all of the issues raised in the appeal.”


1Woody(491 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

What a waste of time and money. When DeLost (fitting name, not sure I I would want someone with that name as my lawyer), loses again, the taxpayers of Ohio should be able to sue him to recover the cost of frivolous lawsuit.

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2rickking123(330 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I wonder if Atty. DeLost would want you ("Woody") as a client?

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3Woody(491 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

I am sure if I had a case he thought he could make money off of he would.

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4Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

This is a lot of crap. They should have no business butchering people's trees. These ding dongs invent ways to circumvent the Constitution and private property rights. They cut and destroy, and disfigure peoples' trees that took decades to mature. What a bunch of power hungry hacks. The attorney lost because the Courts side with utilities, corporations and banks not the individual rights they were intended to protect. They are a disgrace. Trees were maintained in the past without issue now all of a sudden there is a huge problem? B.S.

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5jeepers(127 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

If the trees felll onto the power lines and disrupted his electrical service, he would probably sue them for that if he could. WAY TOO MANY LAWYERS in this area. Granted, this story sounds bad with the info we are given. Also, 2 pictures would be worth a thousand words.How old were these trees? Could trimming a few branches have taken care of the issue? Way too much info missing to properly figure this out. Unfortunately, when puco, or gov., wants to take some of your land under eminent domain, "they" can pretty much do as they please.

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6Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

"If the trees fell onto the power lines and disrupted his electrical service, he would probably sue them for that if he could." I would seriously doubt that. White pines are not a top heavy tree. Agreed photos would have been useful so we can only surmise why they weren't included. At one time trees were reasonably managed . That is not the case any longer.

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7Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

' WAY TOO MANY LAWYERS in this area." - - Funny thing is the folks who complain about them are the first to hire them when the need is perceived. Individual rights are what the Constitution is about . Folks need to re read the Bill of Rights. The framers sought something different, something better. These sort of rulings chip away at that.

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