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Jury Awards $7.7 Million to Man Injured by Falling Tree


A jury on Friday awarded a San Diego man whose legs were crushed by a falling tree $7,675,000.

The man, 58-year-old Michael Burke, was injured in 2010 when a 60-foot tree in front of his home fell on his legs. The tree was on public property. He sued the City of San Diego.

Burke underwent 14 surgeries to his legs, is now a paraplegic, and may need to have his legs amputated at some point in the future.

Under California law, a property owner is on the hook for injuries caused by a fallen tree or fallen branches if the property owner knew or should have known that the tree posed a hazard, but the owner failed to act.

Depending on the size of the fallen tree or branches, severe injuries or death can result. If you are injured by a falling tree, you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident. It is important to preserve the evidence and document the condition with photos. It will probably strengthen your case against the property owner if you have an arborist inspect the fallen tree before it is removed from the property.

The attorneys at McGee, Lerer & Associates, a Long Beach personal injury law firm, have handled many cases involving injuries resulting from fallen trees. You are welcome to contact our office for a free consultation.