Tree Branch Accidents

Monday, November 30, 2015

Deliveryman on Bicycle Killed By Falling Tree Branch in Red Hook Due to Negligent Parks Department Contractor

The attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty understand the dangers of falling tree branches. Our attorneys have worked with ISA-certified arborists as experts and we are well aware of the dangers improperly maintained trees can be for the everyday New Yorker. In September, we discussed the London plane trees in Bryant Park suffering from crown rot, causing the branch to fall and breaking a woman's arm. Unfortunately, another tragedy has occurred.

John Liu was working as a deliveryman last Monday around the corner of the intersection of Pioneer Street and Richards Street. At the same time, a two-man pruning crew working with RML, which had contracted with the Department of Parks and Recreation to help with the City's post-Hurricane Sandy tree work, was working to bring down a branch of a 4,000 pound London plane tree in Coffey Park. Department of Parks and Recreation regulations state that, when pruning, a four-man crew is required, the area be roped off, and there be a flagger to watch for pedestrians. The tree branch that the crew was pruning fell directly on Mr. Liu, sending him to Methodist Hospital in critical condition where he later died. The City has cancelled all contracts with RML while an investigation is pending.

If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured by a falling branch or tree, the attorneys at Feldman, Kronfeld & Beatty, working with certified arborists, can help you understand your rights and potential claims. You can contact the attorneys for a free consultation at (212) 425-0230 or at

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Falling Trees at Bryant Park: What's the First Step?

Earlier this month, a tree branch in Bryant Park snapped and fell, injuring four. One of the people who were injured in the accident, Columbia University graduate student Blythe Duckett, sustained a compound fracture to her arm and one of the witnesses to the accident told reporters "Her arm went limp. You could see the bone sticking out."

After the accident, the Post sent certified arborist Michael Pill to check out Bryant Park's trees. He said that several of the major London plane trees in Bryant Park suffered from crown rot.

Ms. Duckett, in a cast and having undergone surgeries, apparently contacted the trial attorneys at Smiley & Smiley, LLP. They, like other trial attorneys in a similar situation, understood that a claim such as hers needed immediate action. If the tree was diseased and dying, evidence of the tree's condition and evidence of other trees' conditions in the vicinity would be vital to prove her claim against the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Bryant Park Corporation.

They immediately filed suit and asked the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Bryant Parks Corporation to preserve any evidence of the branch collapse and related damage. They can now use the evidence that will be collected for trial, or use the failure to maintain such evidence against the defendants later down the road.

While no two cases are alike, and past results do not guarantee future results, be sure that experienced trial lawyers and litigators who understand the entire process can be helpful from day 1 of a potential claim.

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