Someone built a sukkah on the street (in a way that it was muter for him to build it in that place.) Before Sukkos the Sukkah was knocked over by the wind and broke a car window. Is the person chiyuv to pay? Would it make a difference if the wind was a “ruach hamatzui” or a ruach shaino hamatzui”?

Answer:

Under most circumstances the owner of the Sukkah will not be liable for payment. However, if the Sukkah was not strong enough to stand up to a “regular wind,” he is liable.

Sources:

See Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 411:2) where it is stated that if the wind is not a regular wind, he is exempt. The Sema (418:9) adds, citing from the Maggid Mishnah, that an irregular wind includes any wind that does not blow usually, and only occurs sometimes – it does not have to be a storm wind that only blows rarely.

Therefore, unless the wind was truly a “regular wind,” the owner of the Sukkah is not liable for damages.

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