Bryant Park was packed on the Labor Day holiday weekend with New Yorkers looking to escape the sun . However, what should have been a carefree day in the shade turned tragic when a large tree snapped in half, crashing down on several people below. Falling tree limb accidents in New York City parks are not a common occurrence but roughly once a year someone is seriously injured-sometimes even killed-by branches or portions of trunks that come toppling out of the sky.
This latest falling tree limb accident in Manhattan caught five people unaware. Most were struck by falling debris, but one individual was pinned under the massive trunk itself. One young man was taken to nearby Bellevue Hospital–rushed into an ambulance and strapped to a stretcher. A woman suffered the most serious injury-a broken arm. The rest of the injured individuals were treated and released and are expected to make full recoveries.
New York City’s Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for inspecting all the trees in the City’s public areas (sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, etc.). If they discover a potential danger (a damaged limb or a diseased tree), they are required to mark off the area and remove the tree within a timely fashion. If they fail to do so, the department (and by extension the City of New York) could be held responsible for any injuries suffered by passersby. Similar accidents involving more serious injuries have resulted in multi-million dollar settlements.
It’s unclear whether or not Parks and Recreation officials suspected this particular tree was a danger to pedestrians but an investigation is ongoing.
If you or a loved one is injured by a falling tree limb in New York (especially in a public place maintained by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department) you could be awarded monetary compensation for your injuries. To discuss the legal options available to you, contact an expert New York City falling tree limb accident attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.