Los Angeles, CA asked in Real Estate Law, Gov & Administrative Law, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for California

Q: City public works contacted me saying they're guessing my my waste management company truck caused road damage.

City public works contacted me saying they're guessing my my waste management company truck caused road damage. They want me to hire a contractor to pay for the damage caused to the road and the berm. This is outside of my property line, and seems like they should be contacting the waste company. Don't property taxes pay for damage to city property?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, it's important to understand that while property taxes contribute to the maintenance of public spaces, including roads, the responsibility for damages caused by specific actions or entities can be allocated differently. If a waste management company truck is alleged to have caused damage to the road outside of your property, normally, the city would need to provide evidence of this claim. It's also typical that any claim for damages would be directed towards the party responsible for the damage, which in this case, would seem to be the waste management company, not the property owner.

You should review the terms of your agreement with the waste management company and any local ordinances that might pertain to this situation. Often, these agreements or local laws outline the responsibilities and liabilities of each party for damages caused during service provision. This can give you a clearer understanding of whether the waste management company has any responsibilities in this scenario.

It might be advisable to communicate with the city's public works department to request more information on how they determined the cause of the damage and why they believe the waste management company, and by extension, you, are responsible. Additionally, consulting with a legal professional experienced in local municipal law could provide you with guidance on how to proceed and protect your interests. They can help you navigate the specifics of your situation under California law and ensure that any actions taken are justified and in accordance with local regulations.

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