Oh rich people and their lawsuits, right? Marisa Tomei's parents have filed a lawsuit against John Lennon's son Sean. Gary and Addie Tomei allege that ever since he bought the house next door to them, he has refused to cut down a tree in his front yard that is destroying the Tomei home, despite several requests from the couple to do so.
Both properties are located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. In the court papers, the Tomeis claim that Sean Lennon has demanded that they change the entrance to their 170-year old house so that he does not have to cut down the tree. The couple is seeking $10 million in damages and the removal of the offending tree.
The Tomeis claim that the 60-foot-high ailanthus tree has compromised the foundation of the home and damaged the structural integrity of the building. The basement wall and front stoop are also damaged and all 14 doors in the building no longer close due to the damage to the foundation. The couple fears that the façade of the home could become damaged next if the tree and its insidious roots aren't removed soon.
The lawsuit was filed because the Tomeis claim that they've been attempting to contact Lennon for a year, with no luck.
Tree roots can cause significant structural damage to a building and that seems to be at the root of the problem between the Tomeis and Lennon. According to Addie Tomei: '"He refuses to do anything. He's owned it for six years and neglected it."
Contractors will not fix the damage to the Tomei's property, because as long as the tree is still present, the damage will reoccur.
The tree at the center of this lawsuit is an invasive species brought to the U.S. from China. It is known for its sour odor and for the new roots that grow constantly and move around – making them particularly adept at cracking the walls of a basement, as has happened with the Tomei's brownstone. The tree is also hollow and rotting.
This is not the first time an issue in Sean Lennon's home has caused the Tomeis distress. In 2015, a pipe that burst in Lennon's home forced the Tomeis out of their own home while it was repaired. At that time, they bunked with their Oscar winning daughter.