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San Jose Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against City For Death Of Son

San Jose Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against City For Death Of Son

Last year, a 2-year-old boy was killed in when a 10 ton root-rotted maple tree fell onto the cab of the family’s pickup truck in downtown San Jose. Now, according to, the boy’s parents have filed a wrongful death claim against the city, as well as the owners of the property next to the tree.

On January 22, 2010, the family had pulled up in front of a relative’s home in downtown San Jose to pick up their 13-year-old son when a mature 50-foot maple tree with root rot crashed onto the pickup truck, trapping both parents and their 2-year-old boy inside. It took over one hour to free all three victims. The parents suffered broken bones and a neck injury but the boy could not be revived and died at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

The city of San Jose had been in charge of the upkeep and general monitoring of its large trees until its funding issues prompted them to move that responsibility onto San Jose homeowners. This however is being considered as part of the city’s negligence as a typical resident would never be able to identify root rot when it is not visible above ground. The lawsuit claims that the city should have known of the threat and dealt with the decaying tree to protect San Jose residents, and also that the owners of the property adjacent to the tree negligently maintained the trees next to their residence, increasing the risk of the trees falling. If the city and residents are found liable, they may be responsible for various damages, including funeral costs, medical bills, loss of wages, and property damage.

It is the responsibility of a city to ensure the safety of its residents, whether that means performing timely inspections and proper maintenance of trees, or ensuring residents are adequately and reasonably prepared to do so themselves. If someone you care about was killed because of the negligence of a city, a business establishment, or a property owner in San Jose, you may be entitled to legal action. The dedicated San Jose wrongful death lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP, will work compassionately and diligently to hold those at-fault responsible for your losses. Call us today at (800) 900-0863 to learn more about your legal rights.