Various news sources are reporting a tragic incident outside the Kidspace Children's Museum in pasadena California, where a pine tree fell and injured 8 children. Our thoughts and concerns are with the families as the children recover from an obviously horrific experience. In the meantime, from a legal perspective, some things need to be examined to find out what happened and who, if anyone, is responsible for this horrible event.
Authorities have reportedly begun an investigation, but these are some of the questions that need to be asked
a) who owned the trees and had responsibility to maintain the trees?
b) were the trees maintained properly?
c) which company maintained the trees?
d) what was done to maintain the trees?
e) could the tree collapse have been prevented with reasonable maintanance?
If there is a governmental entity involved, a government tort claim needs to be filed within 6 months, in order to be timely.
Also, questions need to be asked of the persons supervising the children at the time:
a) who was supervising the children?
b) where were they?
c) what notice did they have that the tree was cracking/collapsing?
d) what was done to help the children once there was notice that the tree was cracking/collapsing.
Obviously, from a human perspective, this event is horrible. From a legal perspective, it presents questions of duty, causation and foreseeability.