Family of couple killed by falling tr...

Family of couple killed by falling tree limb sue state

There are 90 comments on the WTNH Hartford, New Haven and Connecticut story from Jun 11, 2008, titled Family of couple killed by falling tree limb sue state. In it, WTNH Hartford, New Haven and Connecticut reports that:

The family of a couple killed by a tree limb on the Merritt Parkway last year has filed a $15 million claim against the state.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WTNH Hartford, New Haven and Connecticut.

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Justine

Milford, CT

#81 Jun 12, 2008
I agree the lawsuit is justifiable but do not agree it is a reason to convert the Merritt Parkway into another barren, three lane superhighway like I-95:

“Roy wrote:
This lawsuit is very justifiable. The Merritt was originally built as a scenic Parkway and was a work of art when conceived and built. Now, however, it is a grossly overloaded major commuter artery and it can never again be the luxurious drive in the country it was once was.“

The Merritt is still a luxurious country drive, especially when compared with treeless, tractor-trailer heavy, concrete desert of I-95. There are many alternatives to the Merritt in Connecticut, if you don’t like it’s meandering nature, don’t use it.
Justine

Milford, CT

#82 Jun 12, 2008
Appalled wrote:
<quoted text>
The people that filed the lawsuit have to prove that the State of CT is 100% at fault. They are not going to find that here. They may find some liability, but it is not 100% the State of CT's fault that this tree branch fell on the car. Trust me! I have been through the process!! You show me a case where a plaintiff has won a case against the State of CT for a natural cause. I would love to see one. If you can find on, then let me know, because I will have my Attorney petition the court again. Regardless of what anyone on here says about cutting trees, leaving trees, easments, other peoples trees, wooden guardrails, these people are not going to see a dime!
I am not a lawyer nor a law student but the claim the State has to be 100% at fault or the family will not see a dime does not ring true to me. It may have been your experience that the State does not pay out on lawsuits and makes it difficult, but not impossible, to find documentation to substantiate a plaintiff’s claim. However, if the state is found at fault by a court of law for an accident, they will pay out, they have no choice.
I do not agree this lawsuit is frivolous or the family should not bother. The point of bringing such a suit is to determine if the state was culpable in anyway for this accident. I agree, falling tree limbs can be termed, in insurance speak, as “Acts of God.” However, if a property owner is aware a tree is damaged, decayed or anyway in danger of falling, they are responsible for what damage that tree does when it falls.
This lawsuit will determine if the tree was on state property, if the state was aware the tree was unhealthy and a danger to motorists and yet did nothing. Let the courts do their job. If the state could have prevented this accident with a little tree maintenance, then so be it, the family should be compensated for the loss of two lives. If the state could not have reasonable foreseen the damage this particular tree would cause, the family will walk away empty-handed.
NSV

Branford, CT

#83 Jun 12, 2008
r schier wrote:
<quoted text>
Why don't you just worry about entertaining your dear
old Bush when we're finally done with him...but out
of what is CT's business....
You do realize don't you that the city and state underneath a person's name is just an isp address and not where they live don't you? This comment was totally uncalled for.

Since: Feb 08

Shelton, CT

#84 Jun 12, 2008
NSV wrote:
<quoted text>
You do realize don't you that the city and state underneath a person's name is just an isp address and not where they live don't you? This comment was totally uncalled for.
]

SO WHAT !! stuff it....if you want to PAY MORE
TAXES...make a donation...CLOWN
Appalled

Wolcott, CT

#85 Jun 12, 2008
Justine wrote:
<quoted text>
I am not a lawyer nor a law student but the claim the State has to be 100% at fault or the family will not see a dime does not ring true to me. It may have been your experience that the State does not pay out on lawsuits and makes it difficult, but not impossible, to find documentation to substantiate a plaintiff’s claim. However, if the state is found at fault by a court of law for an accident, they will pay out, they have no choice.
I do not agree this lawsuit is frivolous or the family should not bother. The point of bringing such a suit is to determine if the state was culpable in anyway for this accident. I agree, falling tree limbs can be termed, in insurance speak, as “Acts of God.” However, if a property owner is aware a tree is damaged, decayed or anyway in danger of falling, they are responsible for what damage that tree does when it falls.
This lawsuit will determine if the tree was on state property, if the state was aware the tree was unhealthy and a danger to motorists and yet did nothing. Let the courts do their job. If the state could have prevented this accident with a little tree maintenance, then so be it, the family should be compensated for the loss of two lives. If the state could not have reasonable foreseen the damage this particular tree would cause, the family will walk away empty-handed.
Well, it does ring true to me, as that is what I was told by my attorney when I filed my personal injury suit against the State of CT for a faulty storm drain that backed up due to excessive rain and caused my car accident. It was my responsibility to provide the burden of proof that the State of CT was 100% at fault for my accident. I lost the law suit because I could not prove that the state new before my accident that there was a problem.

I stated in an earlier post, if you call the DOT or anyone at the state, they do not keep record of complaints, so you really do not know whether or not they knew of the situation. They do this on purpose so that they cannot be held liable for their wrongdoing.

I am not saying that this family should not pursue their suit. I am saying, from experience, that it is going to be a waste of their time and money. The only good that will come of it is if someone else has an accident from the same tree in the same place for the same reason, because they were made aware of the problem with the previous accident.
Justine

Milford, CT

#86 Jun 12, 2008
Appalled wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, it does ring true to me, as that is what I was told by my attorney when I filed my personal injury suit against the State of CT for a faulty storm drain that backed up due to excessive rain and caused my car accident. It was my responsibility to provide the burden of proof that the State of CT was 100% at fault for my accident. I lost the law suit because I could not prove that the state new before my accident that there was a problem.
I stated in an earlier post, if you call the DOT or anyone at the state, they do not keep record of complaints, so you really do not know whether or not they knew of the situation. They do this on purpose so that they cannot be held liable for their wrongdoing.
I am not saying that this family should not pursue their suit. I am saying, from experience, that it is going to be a waste of their time and money. The only good that will come of it is if someone else has an accident from the same tree in the same place for the same reason, because they were made aware of the problem with the previous accident.
You are citing personal experience from a personal injury case. This is a claim for wrongful death. Do personal injury and wrongful death cases carry the same "burden of proof"? Have you researched this particular case and tree? Do you know for a fact the state was not aware of any issues regarding said tree, that this family is just wasting their time and money? If so, have you contacted the family's attorney to let him (or her)know he is just wasting "time and money"?

The purpose of a lawsuit is to determine responsibility. I am sorry the state was not held 100% responsible for road flooding due to heavy rain (Act of God?) and a faulty storm drain in your case. Because the state was not found 100% at fault, I will make the leap and assume it was determined driver error also contributed to the accident and that is why the state was not 100% responsible and did not have to pay up for driver error.

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#87 Jun 12, 2008
If a lawsuit is justifiable, then I suggest after the state pays out, they start cutting down all the trees along the rte 15 corridor. Of course, that's why it's one of the most beautiful in the country, but that's okay, liability trumps aesthetics any day of the week. I really think we should just sue God. Make that bastard pay for throw the tree in the first place.
amazed

Naugatuck, CT

#88 Jun 12, 2008
Justine wrote:
<quoted text>
I am not a lawyer nor a law student but the claim the State has to be 100% at fault or the family will not see a dime does not ring true to me. It may have been your experience that the State does not pay out on lawsuits and makes it difficult, but not impossible, to find documentation to substantiate a plaintiff’s claim. However, if the state is found at fault by a court of law for an accident, they will pay out, they have no choice.
I do not agree this lawsuit is frivolous or the family should not bother. The point of bringing such a suit is to determine if the state was culpable in anyway for this accident. I agree, falling tree limbs can be termed, in insurance speak, as “Acts of God.” However, if a property owner is aware a tree is damaged, decayed or anyway in danger of falling, they are responsible for what damage that tree does when it falls.
This lawsuit will determine if the tree was on state property, if the state was aware the tree was unhealthy and a danger to motorists and yet did nothing. Let the courts do their job. If the state could have prevented this accident with a little tree maintenance, then so be it, the family should be compensated for the loss of two lives. If the state could not have reasonable foreseen the damage this particular tree would cause, the family will walk away empty-handed.
justine: for someone who is not a lawyer, you have an excellent grasp of legal concepts.

as to the state awareness of this problem, the governor ordered the dot to inspect the adjacent trees along the entire parkway after previous tree-fallings and deaths, i believe. when that order was given in reference to this case and how well the dot carried it out will surely come up in court.

as i said early on, there are numerous trees still leaning dangerously just in the stfd-bpt-ffld area. the lawyers only need to go out and take a few pictures, which they already may have done, and the burden of proof on the state will be that much higher. and we, who are the state, will have then to pay the bill for this negligence of many years.

needless to say, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

thank you for your candid and objective evaluation.
amazed

Naugatuck, CT

#89 Jun 12, 2008
r schier wrote:
<quoted text>
Wooden guardrails ugly ?? They were an effort
to restore the road to its former beauty, that
was destroyed by the use of metal ones. With taste
like this, I would bet that you find box stores
an attractive addition to a town. YOU don't make
any difference with your ridiculous argument..a
tree falling is an act of god, end of story. If
you feel so "loose" with your money, why don't
you start a fund for them or something...
i remember the ones in the old days. the round wooden posts with the steel cables running between. they still exist on many state roads and they are a heck of a lot more attractive than those 10x10 block beams which are mounted on the steel i-95-style posts. ugly and still no room for breakdowns. just stupid when the money for this 'improvement' could have been spent actually making something more functional and more attractive. typical dot.

as for the lawsuit, the court will decide, and i'll bet a buck, like it or not, the dot will be proven negligent. they have a long history. check out i-84 in cheshire. we will all pay for this.
ELM

Grapevine, TX

#90 Jun 12, 2008
r schier wrote:
<quoted text>
Why don't you just worry about entertaining your dear
old Bush when we're finally done with him...but out
of what is CT's business....
'

Awh, but you and your tree falling state can have him.

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