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GBW Win: San Diego Won’t Appeal $7.67 Million Verdict In Falling Tree Case


On December 21, 2013, a jury awarded a man $7.67 million in a premises liability suit against the City of San Diego.

The plaintiff was seriously injured when a 60-foot palm tree on public land fell onto him. His legs were crushed, causing paraplegia, and he has since undergone more than 14 surgeries. It is likely that his legs will need to be amputated below the knee.

At the time, San Diego mentioned that it would consider appealing the verdict. After talks with GBW partner Browne Greene and Balaban Spielberger partner Daniel Balaban, however, the San Diego City Council and Mayor agreed to waive its appeal if the plaintiff waived all interest accrued on the judgment.

The City and plaintiff agreed to the settlement on March 13, 2013. Browne Greene noted that the settlement equates to justice: “At last, justice has been served and, fortunately for the Burkes, they won’t have to go through an arduous, lengthy appellate process.”

Please see our press release on the case by clicking here. The case is Michael Burke vs. City of San Diego, Case No. 37-2011-00086969-CU-PO-CTL.