Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
FREE Consultations Available
Tampa Car Accident Lawyers > Blog > Personal Injury > Family Loses Wrongful Death Suit Over Tree Fall Accident

Family Loses Wrongful Death Suit Over Tree Fall Accident


If a tree falls and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? No one knows, but if the tree remains in the street where it is struck by an oncoming motorist, who is liable for their injuries? According to a jury, they are.

A wrongful death lawsuit had been filed against a contractor working for a utility company that was in the area when the tree fell. The plaintiffs claimed the utility company was responsible for the tree and should have removed it.

The article is light on the details concerning the case, but we can guess what happened. There are several reasons why the company may not have been found liable for the tree incident. Below, we’ll take a look at those.

No proof of causality 

In order for the company to be responsible for the tree, they must have been proven to have caused the tree to fall. Otherwise, they are not responsible for the tree other than to report that it is in the road. They could have removed the tree, but they didn’t, and the plaintiffs could not establish that they had a duty of care to remove a tree that they didn’t cause to fall. In that case, the plaintiff could not establish the defendant’s negligence, which is why they lost the case.

To establish negligence, you must prove that a company either did something they should not have done or didn’t do something they had a duty to do.

Contributory negligence 

In Florida, we operate on a pure comparative negligence system which means a plaintiff that is 99% responsible for their injuries can still pursue the recovery of 1% of their total damages. In other states, there are limits to contributory negligence such as 50%, 51%, and sometimes even as low as 1%. If the plaintiff contributed too much negligence, then the claim would have been defeated unless it was filed in a comparative negligence state like Florida.


Essentially, this case failed because the allegations against the company were not strong enough. The plaintiff hit a tree in the road. Okay, well, why didn’t he see it? Was he distracted? Was he drunk? Was he tired? Did the company cause the tree to fall? Was the company required by law to remove the tree? What is the proper procedure when a company causes a tree to fall? What duties does a company have when a tree falls near where they’re working?

These are all tricky questions with many possible answers. Courts like specific allegations tied to defendant’s conduct showing negligence. In this case, the plaintiffs failed to establish the defendant was either negligent or responsible for the fallen tree.

Talk to Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, the Tampa personal injury lawyers at The Matassini Law Firm can help you file suit and recover damages related to the injuries. Call today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your options immediately.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The experience you need in your pursuit of justice

The greatest distinguishing feature among attorneys is their level of experience. Our firm has more than 60 years of legal experience, much of it spent in the courtroom at trial. As a result, our Tampa personal injury lawyers rarely encounter an unfamiliar situation and can thoroughly answer your urgent questions. Our criminal defense practice features a board certified criminal trial lawyer and two former prosecutors with impressive knowledge of trial tactics and procedures.

The resources to provide quality representation for the length of your case

Whether your case involves medical malpractice, an auto accident or a wrongful death, your attorney must be prepared to take the case all the way through trial to verdict. Many personal injury attorneys advance the cost of litigation, so they can only last so long before financial pressures start to mount. As a client, you have to wonder whether an attorney's advice to settle your case reflects the quality of the offer or your attorneys need to get paid. Fortunately, The Matassini Law Firm has the resources to pursue civil verdicts and settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

Call our Tampa Bay car accident lawyers for a free consultation

A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa car accident attorneys, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Toll Free
2811 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33609