Long Beach, Calif. — Managing Partner, Samer Habbas of the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates obtains a $225,000 settlement for a slip and fall accident caused by an overgrown tree. The claimant was walking along a sidewalk when they hit their head on a low-hanging tree branch that was protruding over a public sidewalk, causing them to fall to the ground.
Following the trip and fall accident, the claimant was transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital with complaints of pain in their head and left leg. They were diagnosed with a left distal tibia fracture (ankle), left fibula fracture (knee), and a head injury. After an orthopedic evaluation of their leg injuries, the claimant underwent a tibia open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) surgery.
Before Habbas could move forward with the personal injury claim, he had to resolve a liability dispute. Although the claimant fell on a public sidewalk, the incident was caused by a hazard that was located on a private property owned by a business. The tree that was planted on the business owner’s premises had grown at an angle over a portion of the public walkway. Under Civil Code section 1714, the defendant has the duty to maintain and manage their premises to prevent any foreseeable risks of harm and/or danger to members of the general public.
Once an avid power walker and devoted caretaker to a beloved family member, our client’s life was completely disrupted due to the property owner’s negligence. The defendant failed to maintain their property and as a result, the property developed a dangerous condition. Had the defendant properly managed their premises, they would have actual notice of the hazardous condition. Even if the defendant had no knowledge, or notice, prior to the incident, the lack of knowledge is concrete evidence of the defendant’s failure to reasonably manage their property—as the tree branch hung over five feet above the sidewalk, thus causing an obstruction to passersby.
Upon being served with the subject lawsuit, the defendant denied responsibility. They went on to argue that even if the tree obstructed pedestrians walking on the sidewalk, it was a dangerous condition that should have been open and obvious to the pedestrian. Managing Partner, Samer Habbas rejected the defendant’s argument and aggressively litigated the matter. Habbas successfully argued that although the tree was directly in front of the plaintiff, it was not obvious it was hanging low enough that it would make contact with our client’s forehead. The matter ultimately went to mediation and settled for $225,000.
OVERGROWN TREE ON SIDEWALK CAUSES TRIP AND FALL ACCIDENT, LEADS TO LEG FRACTURE SURGERY IN LONG BEACH