When a 35-year-old woman moved into a new house with her boyfriend and children, she saw a huge oak tree near the house with cables holding up a number of its branches. Apparently, branches had been falling off and the cables were there to keep people safe.
Still, she worried that the whole tree might come down without warning. She even went to her landlord, told him she was nervous, and said he should have it taken down. Citing the cost, he declined to do so.
Then, at about four in the morning, the tree finally fell. It landed on the rental house and smashed through the roof. Tragically, the woman was crushed. Her boyfriend was in the same bed, but he did escape. Her kids were not there at the time, and her boyfriend rescued his own 3-year-old son.
The woman was not killed instantly, but was pinned under both the tree and the roof. She even told her boyfriend she was OK, and he tried to cut her out with a chainsaw, but he had to stop when emergency crews told him it could make things worse. By the time a crane lifted the tree, she had passed away.
The woman’s mother is the one who claims she was afraid of the tree, telling people she’d mentioned it numerous times and claiming the landlord refused to remove it. She now says that the family wants to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Renters do have a right to a safe living space. When there are hazards and landlords are asked to fix them, within reason, they have a responsibility to do so. If this does not happen, family members need to know when they have a right to compensation.
Source: The Press Democrat, “Ukiah woman killed by fallen tree feared it for months,” Glenda Anderson, Jan. 23, 2017