A boy who lost his leg and part of his pelvis after a tree fell on his tent during a camping trip at a public park will receive $47.5 million from a California municipality and utility in a lawsuit settlement, reports NBC news in Los Angeles.
Twelve-year-old Zachary Rowe was camping with his family in San Mateo County Memorial Park in 2012, when a rotten 72-foot-tall tanoak tree fell and crushed his tent while he slept. To save his life, doctors amputated his right leg, buttock, and pelvis requiring 30 surgeries and six months in a hospital.
The boy sued San Mateo County, alleging a dangerous condition of public property and negligence by Davey Tree, which the county had hired in 2007 to inspect its campsites for hazardous trees. He also sued PG&E and its vegetation-management contractor, WECI, for negligence in failing to maintain the area around its power lines.
The cases established groundbreaking decisions protecting recreational users, said attorney Tim Tietjen. “This hard-fought victory on behalf of our client will help improve safety throughout California’s campgrounds and public spaces,” Tietjen said in a statement.