A happy Mother’s Day celebration turned tragic when winds caused a tree to snap and fall on a gathering of family members in New Jersey. The victims were in the backyard of a home for a family cookout when a large tree snapped nearly in half. One victim, a 28-year-old man, was killed instantly when the falling tree branch landed on top of him. Five other people were injured by debris. While just across the river, this tragic event showcases the danger of falling tree branch accidents in New York City. You never know when diseased, broken, or storm-weakened trees will give out and finally fall.
The accident was initially called in to first responders as a lightning strike but there is no evidence that there was any lightning involved. It appears as if the tree-which could have been diseased or partially dead-simply cracked and gravity took over. Sadly, the dead victim-a guest at the home-was married with children. (His wife was one of the individuals injured but is expected to make a full recovery.)
Similar falling tree branch accidents in New York City are covered under premises law. Property owners have a responsibility to inspect and maintain trees. It is their duty to remove problem limbs or block off the area underneath trees to prevent injuries to people who may pass by these towering hazards.
Legal liability extends to the city as well. Falling tree branch accidents in New York City on public property (such as parks and playgrounds) could result in the city being held financially liable for injuries or deaths.
If you’ve been hurt by falling branches, contact an experienced New York City tree limb accident attorney immediately.