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A city park should be a peaceful and safe place. It should not be dangerous for visitors to sit at park tables. Some months ago a Florida woman was killed when she was crushed by a falling tree branch while sitting with two adult children in the shade of an old oak tree. Wrongful death lawsuits have been filed alleging that the city was negligent in the maintenance of its park. If the city knew or should have known that the oak tree was weak and presented a danger to park visitors and failed to either correct the situation or to warn of the danger Florida law will permit legal liability in this situation. The knowledge of the city will be the key to its duties.

From the St. Pete Times article:

Family of woman killed by branch sues

The lawsuits say the city should have known the tree was weak. A falling branch pinned the woman to a bench in Zephyr Park.

ZEPHYRHILLS – As promised, the family of a woman killed by a falling oak tree in Zephyr Park seven months ago has sued the city.

Nancy Booth was sitting at a park table with two of her adult children July 18 when witnesses heard a loud crack. It was the overhanging branch from the Civil War-era oak tree above them. It split off and fell onto their table.

The branch trapped Booth against the bench, killing the 63-year-old woman.

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