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Bay Area family sues Oakland over teen’s deadly tree accident

A Bay Area teenager died because the City of Oakland knowingly allowed him to climb a tree that was diseased and unsafe, his family is claiming in a new lawsuit.

According to the East Bay Times, the deceased was a 16-year-old boy who was climbing the tree with his friends in December 2015. The tree, which is on Lake Merritt near Children’s Fairyland, was a popular climbing spot because of its size and the views it provided from the top, the family’s attorney said.

The city was aware of this, and also knew that the tree had become diseased, and therefore unsafe to climb, after discovering the tree’s condition during a pruning just weeks before. But the city did not actually remove the tree or post any warnings until after the boy’s fatal accident.

While the teens were climbing, a rotted limb broke and the victim fell to the ground, where he suffered fatal injuries.

Often, it is someone else’s inaction rather than action that leads to serious injury and death. Failure to take reasonable steps to protect those you have a duty toward is often just as dangerous as a thoughtless action.

Civil law makes us responsible for failing to live up to our duties to others to keep them reasonably safe. When someone does not fulfill their duty to you, often the result is terrible pain and injury. In that situation, you should not have to pay for hospital bills, lost income and, in the worst cases, funeral expenses. Contact a personal injury attorney for more information.