Chicago Settles Tree Branch Injury Lawsuit for $1.55 Million

Chicago Settles Tree Branch Injury Lawsuit for $1.55 MillionThe city of Chicago, Illinois recently agreed to a settlement of $1.55 million with the family of a boy who was allegedly severely injured when a falling tree branch hit his head.

Heavy winds had caused the tree branch to fall on Jaylen Raggs’s head in 2006, causing him to suffer a skull fracture that led to brain damage, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He remained hospitalized for weeks, undergoing a procedure to reduce brain swelling and experiencing muscle spasms and difficulty eating and swallowing. According to his family’s personal injury lawsuit, the effects of the brain damage have lingered – Raggs allegedly suffers from a limp and has fallen behind in school, allegedly because of the brain injury.

The personal injury suit, which originally asked for $15 million in damages from the city, claims that the tree in question was trimmed shortly before the incident. The maintenance was done negligently, the plaintiffs’ expert arborist claimed, as the condition of the branch that fell on Raggs should have alerted the trimming crew that it was dead or weakened, and therefore needed removing. Another issue brought up by the suit was that the tree branch was allegedly destroyed while it should have been preserved as evidence.

According to CBS Chicago, the falling tree branch also injured the boy’s cousin, Trenay Hayes, though his injuries were substantially more minor than those of Raggs.