Personal Injury Tree Pruning Risks Increase

Personal Injury Tree Pruning Risks Increase 2

Pruning trees may not appear the most hazardous of occupations, however for municipal and city authorities there are personal injury implications that can be huge. Take New York City as a case in point.

The New York Times reports that two years ago the city more than doubled its $1.45 million budget for pruning trees, adding $2 million after a spate of injuries and deaths caused by falling tree limbs in parks and along city streets.

But those amounts were relatively minor compared with the $11.5 million the city paid to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of a young Google engineer who suffered traumatic brain injuries, paralysis and damage to his lungs and spinal cord when he was hit by a fungus-covered oak tree branch in Central Park in July 2009.

Now the city comptroller’s office says it has developed a way to identify potential problem spots much sooner and provide city agencies with “an early warning system” to help them improve services “and make our city safer,” whether the problem is falling tree limbs, unfilled potholes, medical malpractice or civil rights violations by the police.

The initiative, called ClaimStat, stems from a database of thousands of claims that are made against the city by people who seek compensation for injuries they say were the city’s fault.

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