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Windstorm causes several tree limbs to topple across Massachusetts, raising questions regarding Boston-area premises liability

Recent strong winds have led to several near misses in the Boston-area after gusts caused limbs to snap and trees to be felled across sidewalks, patios, apartment porches — even crushing a couple cars parked street side, the Boston Channel reports.

Two women were transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries after a massive tree limb cracked and fell across a Kemp Street sidewalk. Property damage was more significant. Falling limbs crushed patio furniture and a deck structure and caused roof and other damage to a home and a couple cars.

Boston premises liability attorneys know that mother nature may have her own plans, but homeowners, property managers and landlords have an obligation to protect tenants and guests from hazards such as tree limbs. The scattering of tree-limb crack-offs around Boston is reminiscent of a rash of similar accidents in Central Park since 2009 that claimed the life of at least two, the New York Times reports.

In late July, 2009, a 33-year old man was seriously injured in Central Park when a rotting limb gave way and crushed him. In February, 2010, a second incident claimed the life of a 46-year-old man after a snow-covered branch fell on him. In June, a six-month-old infant was killed and her mother was critically injured by a falling limb from a honey locust tree at the Central Park Zoo. What caused the branch to snap is still unknown and various City agencies are still struggling to assign responsibility. Several personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have also been filed.

The Union City family of the deceased infant is now planning to file a $50 million lawsuit against New York City, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Central Park Conservancy, the Jersey Journal reports.

While pruning and regular care and maintenance can certainly diminish the likelihood of such accidents, sometimes branches break off, TIME reports. To reduce both risk and liability, New York City’s 5.2 million trees are maintained by the City Park Department. In Central Park, the Central Park Conservancy regularly prunes and inspects the 25,000 trees on their property.

For the most part, in large urban settings like Boston or New York City millions of trees and millions of people share the same living space with little incident. On occasion, however, failure to properly prune trees or otherwise ensure a property is free from hazard, can lead to serious or fatal injury.

Massachusetts premises liability lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC, have more than 18 years experience handling Boston-area personal injury cases. If you have been injured or someone you love has been injured or killed as a result of a Boston-area negligent condition, talking with an experienced attorney can help you better understand your rights. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our offices at 1-877-617-5333.