Clawson Fargnoli recently settled a moped vs. tree accident for $345,000. Our client was operating a moped in Berkeley County at night when he suddenly came upon a downed tree laying completely across the roadway. He crashed into the tree and, while lying in the roadway, was struck a second time when a passing car also hit the downed tree. Our client suffered a head contusion, road rash and a complex fracture of his wrist that required open reduction and external fixation surgery.
We initially settled pre-suit with the driver of the other vehicle for his minimum limits of $25,000. We then filed suit against a government entity and two private landowners after they all initially denied liability for the fallen tree. The tree was within government entity’s right of way and on property owned by the private landowners, but they all disputed that they had any duty to inspect for or remove visibly dead trees.
After approximately a year of litigation, thousands of pages of document production and numerous depositions, the government entity agreed to pay $270,000 to settle the case after we uncovered indisputable evidence that its employees had repeatedly failed to observe and remove this visibly dead tree during annual inspections in violation of their policies and procedures. We then settled with the private landowners for $50,000 after a lengthy debate over their liability centered around the issue of whether this area was urban or rural, which dictated their duty to inspect for and remove visibly dead trees.
Think of Clawson Fargnoli for life altering personal injury and death cases across the state, including tree fall cases.