The family of a North Carolina town official who was killed by a falling tree reached a settlement with the city of Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer reports that the official was killed when the tree was blown over by gusts of wind and fell on her vehicle. Attorneys for the family say that the city was aware that the tree had a decaying root system and failed to alert the public of the danger or to remove the tree. The settlement amount has not been released and must be approved by the city council. It’s unfortunate that the city was not more responsible in guarding the safety of its citizens!
As stated in my other blog getting a lawyer and expert involved in these cases asap is important. Over the years I have reviewed several of these cases with the sad fact being that the municipality has hauled the tree off to the dump immediately so that no one was able to inspect it. Proving that the city or other defendant had notice of the defective condition of the tree is difficult, as well proving that the fall was not due to a sudden natural event and not decay. Obviously, you need to inspect the tree to prove that. If you are ever unfortunate enough to have a loved one harmed by an event such as this, seek legal counsel immediately so that evidence can be preserved and so that a determination can be made as to whether you have a case.