Orange County, California Wrongful Death Claim Seeks Damages from Cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach Over Fallen Tree that Struck Woman's Car

December 31, 1969

The family of Haeyoon Miller is seeking Orange County, California wrongful death damages from the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Miller, a 29-year-old Tustin resident, died from crushing injuries and blunt force trauma after a 10-ton, 50 to 70 feet tall tree fell on her vehicle while she was stopped at a red light last September. The deadly incident took place on the border between Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

The civil claims are likely precursors to a civil lawsuit. Miller's mom, Hyun Myung Suk, is seeking damages for burial expenses, funeral and memorial costs, and loss of society, care, support, comfort, and companionship. She blames the city of Newport Beach for negligence in its planting and maintenance of the trees. Suk contends that the trees, which were "rotted, decaying," are a "hidden trap" to drivers and a reasonable risk to pedestrians and traffic.

Suk also believes that because other trees had fallen, the city knew that they were dangerous but failed to warn people or remedy the hazard. He is accusing the city of trying to hide evidence when it decided to remove the trees after Miller's accident.

Meantime, Miller's dad, Sunyl Chong, is also seeking Orange County, California wrongful death damages from both cities. He, too, is accusing them of negligent tree maintenance. He wants compensation for his daughter's damaged vehicle, expenses related to medical and emergency services, and loss of her companionship, love, care, comfort, protection, assistance, society, affection, training, moral support, and guidance."

"Trees can pose a danger to motorists and pedestrians if they are not properly maintained," said Howard Law, PC and Newport Beach wrongful death lawyer Vincent Howard. "It is the responsibility of the entity that manages and controls a street to make sure that trees are healthy and properly kept up so that they don't accidentally fall or drop branches onto the road or sidewalk or obstruct the view of motorists."

Other road defects and dangers that can cause serious injuries to people include potholes, faulty traffic lights, a speed limit that is too high for the road and traffic conditions, roads that are too narrow, dangerous debris, and the absence of much needed speed bumps and sidewalks.

"We know how devastating it can be to lose a loved one in a Costa Mesa traffic accident that could have been prevented," said Orange County, California personal injury lawyer Vincent Howard.

Death claim: Tree that killed woman a 'hidden trap', The OC Register, March 16, 2012

Driver killed by falling tree identified, ABC Local, September 16, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Newport Beach and Costa Mesa Authorities Investigate Orange County, California Death of Woman Struck in Her Car by Fallen Eucalyptus Tree, California Injury Lawyers, September 20, 2011

Huntington Beach Personal Injury Claims Seek Damages on Behalf of Tustin Bicycle Accident Victim and Her Husband, California Injury Lawyers, November 18, 2011

Trucker Charged with Murder in 2009 La CaƱada Flintridge Truck Accident Files Los Angeles County Personal Injury Over Angeles Crest's Allegedly Unsafe Road Conditions, California Injury Lawyers, March 31, 2011

You want to work with an experienced Costa Mesa motor vehicle crash law firm that knows how to prove that a road defect or a dangerous condition on a roadway caused the deadly accident. This is not the type of case that you should try to pursue on your own.

Contact Newport Beach car accident lawyer Vincent Howard today.