Appeal from Limestone Circuit Court. (CV-92-29J). George T. Craig, TRIAL JUDGE.
Released for Publication March 10, 1995.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Holmes
HOLMES, Retired Appellate Judge
William B. Carwile and Ruby Carwile, his wife, purchased property on the west side of Marion Street in Athens, Alabama, in 1982. The Carwiles have operated a barber shop on this property since 1947.
Robert L. Reynolds and Vickie P. Reynolds, his wife, have owned and operated a Hallmark greeting card store in the building located adjacent to Carwile Barber Shop since 1984. In 1991 the Reynoldses purchased the building in which their business is located.
The roof of the building which housed the card shop leaked. The leakage problems were so severe that the roof collapsed in places. The Reynoldses hired Lee Haynes, a roofing contractor, to replace the roof on the building in which their card shop is located.
Haynes replaced the roof for the Reynoldses in December 1991. Prior to the replacement of the roof, the building owned by the Reynoldses had a flat, built-up roof, which was the same type of roof that was on the building owned by the Carwiles. When the building owned by the Reynoldses had a flat, built-up roof, which slanted front to back, the rainwater drained to the back of the building and did not empty onto the neighboring buildings. The replacement roof was a gabled roof, and rainwater spilled onto the neighboring buildings from a gabled roof.
In January 1992 the Carwiles filed a complaint against the Reynoldses and Haynes (defendants). The complaint alleged that the defendants had committed trespass. William Carwile (deceased) died in October 1992, and his son, Maurice Wayne Carwile, the executor of the deceased's estate, was substituted as a party plaintiff.
The Reynoldses filed a counterclaim for trespass, wherein they alleged that the limbs from a tree located on the Carwiles' property had caused damage to the roof of the Reynoldses' building.
The case was tried before a jury. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Carwiles. The verdict form provided, in pertinent part:
"We, the Jury, find in favor of the [Carwiles] and against the ...