Fallen Tree Lawsuit Lawyer
Although large trees are a highly-valued feature of the New York area, when they are not properly maintained, they can cause horrific injuries or even death, leading victims and families to file fallen tree lawsuits.
The New York personal injury lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have the expertise and resources to investigate a fallen tree incident and determine who was at fault. We consult medical experts to review your injuries and estimate the cost of medical care now and in the future. We will investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine which party or parties may be liable for the harm you suffered, including property owners, the city of New York Parks Department, and more.
Filing a fallen tree lawsuit in NYC
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a fallen tree branch or fallen tree limb in New York City, EKJ Law can represent you in a personal injury lawsuit, and help you fight for the monetary compensation that is due to you by legal right. Damages received in a NY or Long Island fallen tree lawsuit can help you pay medical and other bills, and help cover any lost wages if you or your family’s breadwinner is unable to work.
Don’t suffer in silence. If you were the victim of an accident in New York that was no fault of your own, the law is on your side. Contact the personal injury attorneys at EKJ Law for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case. We will evaluate your legal options and give you honest advice as to the merits and strength of your case. Remember—we charge no fees unless we secure a verdict or settlement for you and your family.
New York City trees and maintenance
New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for over 500,000 trees on the streets of the city’s five boroughs, as well as some 2 million additional trees in city parks. Unfortunately, necessary pruning and maintenance has not always been equal to the task.
Parks Department workers complete inspections of up to 50 parks per month. The employees have no special training in tree care and maintenance. In addition to looking for dead or dying trees, each inspection includes assessing the condition of benches, fences and playground equipment; monitoring the disposal of litter, including animal waste and condoms; and evaluating lawns and shrubs.
The Department’s Forestry Division does employ trained arborists, but usually these employees examine trees on-site only after the untrained workers have identified problems. If the front-line workers do not recognize warning signs of disease or decay, the arborists may never inspect the trees at all.
According to the Parks Department, street trees in New York City are pruned every 15 years; in the past, each tree was pruned on average every 7 years. In 2012, the tree trimming budget was $1.45 million per year – down from $4.7 million in 2007.
In 2013 the Parks Department had fewer than 100 climbers and pruners to maintain all of the City’s 2.5 million trees.
Alarmingly, New York Parks Department officials often downplay the critical state of NYC’s trees. According to the 2012-13 City Parks Commissioner, “thanks to the dedication of thousands of workers and volunteers, New York City’s parks have never been in better shape.”
In 2007, the New York City Comptroller conducted an audit of the Department of Parks and Recreation’s response to complaints regarding tree removal. Complaints that were not resolved within the Department’s 30-day window often appeared to fall through the cracks; the Parks Department had no system to ensure that trees were removed in the order requested, and in fact on several occasions addressed recent complaints while complaints received months before remained unresolved.
The Comptroller noted that the City settled 67 tree-related claims for property damage during Fiscal Year 2006, and paid a total of $129,768 to settle those claims. The audit report was silent as to the number of personal injury claims received during the year, and made no mention of any sums paid to settle such matters.
However, news outlets have identified 51 reported injuries from fallen trees and limbs on New York City streets and in City parks between 2006 and 2011.
New York fallen tree lawsuits
NY fallen tree lawsuits have been filed routinely against the City and its Parks Department after tree branches or limbs caused injury or death.
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye’s skilled attorneys have represented many victims in such cases. In these NY personal injury lawsuits, millions of dollars in damages have been paid to victims and their families.
Examples of tree-related personal injury lawsuits in New York include:
- In July 2009 a rotted tree branch in Central Park fell 40 feet, striking a 33-year-old Google computer engineer in the head. The victim was left paralyzed, with serious brain damage and spinal cord injuries; in 2012, the City paid $11.5 million to the victim and his family to settle the case.
- Seven months later, a 54-year-old busboy was struck and killed by a fallen tree as he walked through Central Park. His wife and two small children received $3 million when the City settled the case in June 2013.
- A grandmother was killed while waiting at a Brooklyn bus stop in 2003. According to witnesses, a cascade of branches fell from an overhanging maple tree. A jury awarded the victim’s family $1.6 million.
- A 29-year-old social worker sitting on a bench in Stuyvesant Park was hit by a rotten limb that fell 30 feet. The young woman survived the July 2007 event but sustained serious injuries and endured four months in the hospital. The elm tree, which at a height of 80 feet was one of the tallest in New York City, had shed large branches in the past. But poorly-trained parks workers had missed signs that the tree was rotting. The city paid the victim $4 million to settle the lawsuit in February 2012.
- In June 2010, a six-month-old baby was killed in her mother’s arms when a huge limb fell from an overhanging tree near the Central Park Zoo. The mother was critically injured. A lawsuit seeking compensation from the City and Zoo is pending.
The NY personal injury lawyers at EKJ Law can help
We encourage anyone who has been injured by a fallen tree or fallen limb, whether in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, or Long Island to contact the New York personal injury lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye for a no-charge comprehensive evaluation of the circumstances of your case. We will review your legal options and help you decide the best course of action – without any obligation on your part. Please contact us at (800) 469-7429 or (516) 742-9200.
- City of New York Office of the Comptroller, Audit Report on the Efficiency of the Department of Parks and Recreation in Addressing Complaints Relating to Tree Removal (March 26, 2007) http://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/documents/MG06_121A.pdf
- Trust for Public Land, The Center for City Park Excellence, http://cityparksurvey.tpl.org/reports/reports.asp
- NY Times, FALLING LIMBS: Neglected, Rotting Trees Turn Deadly, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/14/nyregion/in-new-york-neglected-trees-prove-deadly.html?ref=nyregion
- NY Times, FALLING LIMBS: With Booms and Creaks, a Tree Warns, Often Too Late, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/nyregion/ailing-trees-sound-a-warning-before-falling.html?ref=nyregion
- NY Times, FALLING LIMBS: Sued Over Death and Injury From Trees, City Fights Back, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/nyregion/suits-over-tree-injuries-show-new-york-citys-aggressive-legal-tactics.html?pagewanted=all
- A Walk in the Park, “Central Park Tree Lawsuits: $11.5 Million Payout As City Quietly Settles Google Engineer Tree Injury Suit- $ 3 Million For Albanian Immigrant Living in Brooklyn Killed” http://awalkintheparknyc.blogspot.com/2013/06/central-park-tree-lawsuits-115-million.html
- WABC-TV, “Brothers injured when tree limb hits car,” June 6, 2010, http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=7482091&rss=rss-wabc-article-7482091
- Central Park Conservancy Tree Database, http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/trees-blooms/tree-database/
- Central Park Conservancy, Trees & Blooms, http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/trees-blooms/