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Huntington Beach Premises Liability Claim Blames City for Fallen Tree Branch

December 31, 1969

Terry Ingham, 56, has filed an Orange County, California personal injury claim against the city of Huntington Beach. Ingham says that he hurt his neck and back after a branch broke off a tree, fell, and struck him. He is holding the city responsible for failing to take care of the tree even after the property management company of Springhurst Townhomes had submitted a complaint. The city co-owns the land where the tree is located.

Ingham says he was visiting his mom on November 11 when the fallen tree branch accident happened. He says that the branch knocked him to the ground and that was when his injuries, which are serious enough to require surgery and therapy, happened.

According to a letter sent by Professional Community Management to its residents in September, Huntington Beach officials were notified of incidents involving branches falling from trees and landing in common areas. The trees were described as "very large" and residents were warned to be careful.

It was just last September that Haeyoon Miller, 29, was killed in Orange County, California when an almost 70-foot tall blue gum eucalyptus tree 70-foot tall fell on her car while she was driving. Last month, her parents filed separate Newport Beach wrongful death lawsuits against the city, while her dad also filed a Costa Mesa wrongful death case.

The tree that killed Miller had been standing on the border between the two cities. Her parents accused the defendants of negligent planting and maintenance and they contended that the trees that had lined Irvine Avenue posed a danger to drivers and pedestrians. They also claimed that other trees had fallen in the area before the accident involving their daughter but that nothing was done to warn the public or remove the danger.

"Property owners are responsible for making sure that any trees or other plants on a premise are properly maintained and healthy enough that they don't pose an injury risk to people," said Huntington Beach wrongful death lawyer Vincent Howard.

Falling trees and their branches can cause serious injuries, including head trauma, eye injuries, cuts and bruises, traumatic brain injury, back injuries, neck injuries, and even death. The incidents involving Ingham and Miller are not the first to involve rotting or poorly maintained trees in California and the rest of the US and cities know this.

In 2008, the family of Michael Gandy settled their Anaheim wrongful death lawsuit against the city for $700,000. Gandy died after the Santa Winds blew down a 50-foot tall tree, which crashed into his van on his birthday. His loved ones accused the city of Anaheim of cutting the roots of the tree in a manner that made it unstable while neglecting to trim the treetops. Recently, a man was involved in a Los Angeles County injury accident when a tree branch fell on his vehicle in Brentwood. He said it was like being hit by a "concrete wall."

"Premise owners and supervisors must remove any hazards that could potentially cause personal injury," said Anaheim premises liability lawyer Vincent Howard.

Man hit by falling tree branch wants H.B. to pay, OC Register, May 1, 2012

Falling tree branch hits 2 vehicles in Brentwood, injures man
, Los Angeles Time, January 28, 2012

More Blog Posts:
Orange County, California Wrongful Death Claim Seeks Damages from Cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach Over Fallen Tree that Struck Woman's Car, California Injury Lawyers, March 16, 2012

Costco Ordered to Pay Los Angeles County Slip and Fall Victim $415,000 Industry, California Premises Liability Verdict, California Injury Lawyers, April 23, 2012

Two Women Settle Irvine Elevator Accident Lawsuit Over 11-Story Drop, California Injury Lawyers, April 20, 2012

To schedule your free case evaluation, contact Howard Law, PC, and ask to speak with Orange County, California injury attorney Vincent Howard.