Judge nixes city's bid to overturn $7.6M verdict in palm tree in - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Judge nixes city's bid to overturn $7.6M verdict in palm tree injury case

Posted: Updated:
  • RelatedMore>>

  • Man paralyzed by tree awarded millions

    Man paralyzed by tree awarded millions

    Friday, December 21 2012 7:04 PM EST2012-12-22 00:04:51 GMT
    A jury Friday awarded more than $7.6 million in damages to a Mission Hills attorney who was rendered a paraplegic when a giant palm tree fell on him outside his home, crushing his legs. 
    A jury Friday awarded more than $7.6 million in damages to a Mission Hills attorney who was rendered a paraplegic when a giant palm tree fell on him outside his home, crushing his legs. 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A judge Friday rejected efforts by the city of San Diego to avoid paying more than $7.6 million in damages awarded to a local attorney after a giant palm tree fell on him and crushed his legs.

The city had asked the court for a new trial and for a decision to overturn the multi-million dollar earlier jury verdict.

Attorney Michael Burke suffered paralysis of the lower half of his body on Jan, 21, 2010, when the 60-foot, 2,600-pound, Queen Palm toppled following a four-day storm.

Burke sued the city of San Diego, claiming it was responsible for the accident in Mission Hills because it had cut back on yearly inspections and maintenance of trees due to budget constraints.

A jury in December awarded Burke and his wife, Edith, millions of dollars in lost earnings and medical expenses.

Jurors found that the Queen Palm was in a "dangerous condition" when it fell on Burke. The jury also found that the city had notice of the tree's condition with enough time to do something about it.

City attorneys told the jury that the tree toppling was an "act of God" that could not have been foreseen. They said the city never received complaints about the condition of the tree before it fell.

To date, Burke has undergone 14 surgeries and there is a high probability that he will have to undergo bilateral, below-the-knee amputations due to the severity of his injuries, according to his legal team.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Putting skateboards on the streets, not guns

    Putting skateboards on the streets, not guns

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:05:11 GMT
    Local law enforcement agencies will be banding together this weekend in an effort to take guns off the streets. 
    Local law enforcement agencies will be banding together this weekend in an effort to take guns off the streets. 
  • Judge orders trial for motorist accused in hit-and-run death

    Judge orders trial for motorist accused in hit-and-run death

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:04:34 GMT
    A motorist who allegedly took off after hitting a female transient in the middle of Interstate 5 near downtown San Diego must stand trial on a charge of hit-and-run causing death, a judge ruled Thursday 
    A motorist who allegedly took off after hitting a female transient in the middle of Interstate 5 near downtown San Diego must stand trial on a charge of hit-and-run causing death, a judge ruled Thursday 
  • SDSU men's basketball takes Ice Bucket Challenge

    SDSU men's basketball takes Ice Bucket Challenge

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:04:06 GMT
    The San Diego State University men's basketball team completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday. 
    The San Diego State University men's basketball team completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday. 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.