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Is a School Responsible for Injuries Caused by Falling Trees?

Smiling happy family and a family car

On the afternoon of January 20, 2017, a severe thunderstorm rolled through the Southern California city of Chula Vista. During that storm, two boys from Chula Vista Middle School exited the school as they tried to get to their parents’ vehicle. That’s when disaster struck, and now two families are trying to find out if the school is responsible for the injuries caused by falling trees.

Are Schools Responsible for Your Child’s Safety?

During that January storm, a tree fell at Chula Vista Middle School, pinning two boys beneath its branches. When rescuers finally freed the boys, one had suffered bruising to the head and the other had sustained abrasions. Both boys also sustained spinal fractures, and their parents say they are also recovering from emotional distress. For these reasons, the families of these two boys have filed a lawsuit naming the school district, Sweetwater Union High School District Superintendent Karen Janney and Chula Vista Middle School Principal Julissa Garcias.

The lawsuit claims that the school neglected proper care of the tree in question, making the walkway unsafe for students to walk along. If these families can prove that such neglect occurred, then the school district could be liable for the damages and injuries inflicted on these boys. The school claims that trees all over the county were felled by that thunderstorm, and that it could not have foreseen the instant a previously stable tree would fall.

Do you think the school will be held liable for these boys’ injuries? The court in Chula Vista will soon decide, and the premises liability attorneys here at Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. will be watching. We work hard to protect our clients when they have been injured, and we want to make sure they know when it’s time to contact an attorney.

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