On March 6, 1997, Louis Ferrigno, a 29 year old carpenter, was driving on a county road in New York when a large tree fell onto his car and crushed it causing him severe head and neck injuries.
Ten years later his case against the county for negligence came to trial. His claim was based on the fact that the tree was diseased and decayed and the county either knew about it or should have known about it and in either case should have removed the tree so that it would not be a hazard.
The jury found for the plaintiff on liability and then proceeded to award him $2,600,000 for his pain and suffering damages ($2,000,000 past, $600,000 future).
On appeal, this week, the court in Ferrigno v. County of Suffolk upheld the liability verdict. In the decision, there was a discussion of the law on negligence as to roadside trees falling and whose responsibility that is and why. In doing so, the court cited prior cases and discussed the facts in this case.
Please see full post for more information.
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