Getting a Recovery for Injuries from a Fallen Tree Branch

This last weekend a 6 month old baby was killed when a tree branch hit both baby and mother.  The baby’s father was snapping their picture at the Central Park Zoo when the tree branch broke.  The mother was also injured.  See story here.

Police investigate the scene where a tree branch fell, killing a 6-month-old girl (b.) and injuring her mother Saturday near the Central Park Zoo.

If you have been injured due to a falling tree branch or other incident in a City park, please call me for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to

Earlier this year we wrote about a fatal accident in Central Park where a pedestrian was hit by a snow laden tree branch.  See our prior post here which discusses the proof needed to recover against the City.

As a general rule the owner of the tree will only be liable for injuries caused by a falling branch if the owner had notice of the condition.  For example, if the owner was told of the dangerous condition, such as a broken tree limb likely to fall, then such would satisfy the notice requirement.  The other way of proving notice is that the condition existed so long that the owner should have known of the danger if he had made reasonable inspections regularly.  This form of notice, “constructive notice”, can be difficult to prove.

A further glitch exists in this particular case in that there is an issue as to which entity owns and maintains the tree.  Is it New York City?  Or the Wildlife Conservation Society which operates the Central Park Zoo?  Or is it the Central Park Conservancy which has undertaken many of the responsibilities of Central Park’s maintainance?

If you have been injured due to negligence in a City park or zoo, please call me for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to

Mark E. Seitelman, 6/28/10,


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