Nine months after Tustin resident Haeyoon Miller was killed in an Orange County, California car crash involving a tree falling on her vehicle, her parents have filed separate wrongful death lawsuits against the cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, as well as against West Coast Arborists, the contractor responsible for maintaining the blue gum eucalyptus. Sunyl Chung and Hyun Myung Suk are seeking unspecified damages, as well as burial and medical costs.
Miller, 29, was stopped at a traffic signal on Irvine Avenue at 17th Street, which is close to the border between both cities, when the tree fell, crushing her vehicle. She died at the car accident site.
Her parents had filed their Orange County, California wrongful death claims against the two cities a few months ago, but both Newport Beach and Costa Mesa rejected their cases. This now paves the way for them to be able to sue both cities.
In Sunyl Chung's lawsuit, Miller's dad says that the cities failed to properly maintain the tree, causing it to decay into a "rotten" state until it became a danger to traffic on that road. Meantime, Hyun Myung Suk is accusing Costa Mesa and Newport Beach of destroying the tree that fell on her daughter's car, as well as removing other trees after the deadly traffic crash, to hide evidence.
Both plaintiffs contend that the two cities should have known that the tree posed a danger because it wasn't the first tree to have recently fallen on Irvine Avenue. They are also claiming that the median was defectively designed and that construction projects had made the situation worse. One of the lawsuits also is claiming that the trees were planted at an unsafe distance from each other.
Road Defects and Dangerous Conditions
Unsafe conditions on the road can cause serious Orange County, California motor vehicle crashes, which is why it is important that the city or entity responsible for overseeing the street, avenue, or sidewalk makes sure that any safety hazards are eliminated. This includes ensuring that the road and all its different elements are designed and placed safely.
"Having trees that are too tall that the drivers' line of sight is obstructed, failing to install road bumps when it is necessary for traffic to slow down in that particular area, and not installing pedestrian lanes where there is a lot of walking traffic are just some examples of unsafe conditions that can lead to serious Orange County, California injuries," said Howard Law, PC founder and Newport Beach motor vehicle crash lawyer Vincent Howard.
You may have grounds against a city or another government entity for Costa Mesa car accident compensation.
"Trees that are at risk of falling due to decay and rotting have been known to cause injury to motor vehicle occupants," said Orange County, California premises liability attorney Vincent Howard. "Entities responsible for keeping roads maintained know this."
Family sues cities, contractor in fallen tree death, Daily Pilot, June 21, 2012
Authorities ID woman killed by tree, The OC Register, September 16, 2011
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
Riverside County Car Accident Lawsuit Blames Dangerous Road Conditions for Mother's California Wrongful Death, California Injury Lawyers, November 11, 2011
Trucker Charged with Murder in 2009 La Cañada Flintridge Truck Accident Files Los Angeles County Personal Injury Over Angeles Crest's Allegedly Unsafe Road Conditions, California Injury Lawyers, March 31, 2011
Anaheim car accident attorney Vincent Howard represents clients throughout Orange County, California.