KSL INVESTIGATES

Who’s responsible when a snowplow damages your fence?

May 31, 2022, 6:13 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 10:01 pm

TOOELE, Utah — With snow comes snowplow damage, so if a city or county snowplow damaged your fence while pushing snow you would expect to get reimbursed, right? Turns out, when plows from multiple agencies work the same area, knowing who is responsible for the damage is not always clear cut. Especially, when they blame each other.

“On the side, that’s where the snow really pushed it in,” Estella Castillo said as she pointed to recent damage to her fence.

Castillo said she and her husband were watching as a snowplow came rumbling past last March. Ice and heavy snow from the plow smacked into their fence with enough force to dent and break privacy slats, and to bend the fence’s lower half out-of-shape. The couple caught a glimpse of the orange plow they thought belonged to Tooele City, but nope.

“The city denied us said that it wasn’t the city it was the county truck,” she said.

So, it had to be a Tooele County plow, right?

“The county says it was the city’s truck,” Castillo said.

All she wants is to have someone fix her fence.

“Pointing fingers at each other,” Castilla said in frustration. “Nobody wants to claim the blame.”

Exhausted by the blame game, she decided it was time to call the KSL Investigators.

When we reached out to the city, they told us the same thing they told Castillo: It was not their truck. it was not their fault.

But when we reached out to the county, they had a different response. Rather than point the finger back at the city, a spokesperson told us they will “turn this matter over to its insurance carrier for investigation and resolution.”

Just like that, Castillo is finally working with the county’s insurer to mend her fence.

“I don’t want a whole new fence,” she said. “Just put it the way it was.”

Generally, homeowners’ insurance covers damage caused by snowplows. So long as a property, whether it is a mailbox or a fence, isn’t in the wrong area – like too close to the street.

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Who’s responsible when a snowplow damages your fence?