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Goodyear homeowner says city tree damaged her property

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Annie Kudray says a city-owned tree damaged her property but Goodyear wouldn't pay up. (Source: 3TV) Annie Kudray says a city-owned tree damaged her property but Goodyear wouldn't pay up. (Source: 3TV)
The tree damaged Kudray's wall and a cactus. (Source: 3TV) The tree damaged Kudray's wall and a cactus. (Source: 3TV)
After calling 3 On Your Side, Kudray got the money from the city. (Source: 3TV) After calling 3 On Your Side, Kudray got the money from the city. (Source: 3TV)

Take a drive through any Goodyear neighborhood, and chances are, you'll find a lot of streets lined with trees. And many of those trees are maintained by the city.

However, Annie Kudray says one of those city trees has put her family in a financial bind. 

“So, this is the stump of the tree that fell and broke my wall,” Kudray tells 3 On Your Side as she pointed to the stump.

Kudray is a Goodyear homeowner and says about three months ago, a big palo verde tree that used to be planted near her property and maintained by the city came crashing down during a storm. 

"All of the sudden, we heard this big crack and then this big thud," she explained when the tree snapped. 

Kudray has plenty of photographs she took the night it happened. 

The tree not only broke her back wall, it also damaged a cactus that was planted. 

But Kudray says the City of Goodyear won't pay for any of the damage.   

Kudray says she can't believe the City of Goodyear is refusing to pay for the damage to her wall and claims if her tree caused damaged to city-owned property, she would have received a bill by now.

Kudray says she's complained for the past two years about the tree getting out of control and becoming a hazard.

In fact, she says every time city employees would trim trees in the neighborhood, she would ask them to thin out the tree next to her property even more because it was becoming top-heavy and she feared it could damage her property. 

But, she says her requests always got the same response from those tree trimmers. 

"He laughed and said that will never happen and if it breaks, it will fall towards the road," she remembers one of the trimmers saying.

 Well, as we know now, the city tree wound up crashing into Kudray's backyard and as a result, she filled out all the appropriate City of Goodyear paperwork to get them to fix her wall.

The documents include an estimate from a licensed fence contractor for just over $1,000. It also included a receipt where she paid a professional landscaper $150 to remove her cactus that was also damaged.

In all, Kudray wants the City of Goodyear to pay about $1,700 in damages, which would also include paying to replace her cactus.  

Still, Goodyear told her no.   

"I said, 'You know what? I'm in the middle of emailing Gary Harper,'” Kudray says she told one city representative. “I've seen that man in action and let's see what you have to say to him."

3 On Your Side got in touch with Goodyear city officials and asked them to revisit the issue. 

They did and confirmed that Kudray did, in fact, express concern to those tree trimmers in the past. 

As a result, the City of Goodyear sent 3 On Your Side an email indicating it was reversing its decision. 

A city spokesperson wrote that the city will "...approve her claim for damages."

Kudray is thrilled. 

“So, thanks so much 3 On Your Side. I really, really am happy,” she said.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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