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Andrew Bergh
Andrew Bergh

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May 8, 2009

Andrew Bergh: Got a broken sidewalk? You'll want to read this

Special to the Journal

When they planted three white birch trees near the sidewalk fronting their house, James and Annabel Hughes undoubtedly had no clue they would someday contribute to the tort jurisprudence in our state. But thanks to a recent appellate decision, that's exactly what happened.

The Hugheses bought their residence in West Seattle in 1953. Decades later (but prior to 1990), they planted the young birches just a yard away from the sidewalk abutting their property. By all accounts, the sidewalk has always been owned and maintained by the city of Seattle.

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