Five people were injured on September 4th when a tree snapped in half and fell in the middle of Bryant Park. One of those injured is now suing to preserve the tree, the limbs and other records relating to the incident—in order to file suit against the city later.
Columbia University graduate student Blythe Duckett, 23, was sitting with two friends at a table in the park when the tree fell on her. "[Duckett] had a compound fracture in her left arm. It was broken in multiple places and came through the skin. She needed surgery and plates and screws. She's currently in a cast and has no use of her arm," lawyer Andrew Smiley told the News of her injuries.
Tree beside my table broke and fell on crowd at Bryant Park. Two people injured but hopefully ok. Pretty frightening pic.twitter.com/zeA6HOXPX6
— Ross Cranwell (@rosscranwell) September 4, 2015
Duckett is hoping to preserve the remaining portions of the tree and limbs that were cut from it after the accident. That, along with all relevant maintenance and inspection records, witness statements, photos and videos of the incident, will be used as part of a major lawsuit against the city other defendants for negligence. "It is our belief that had there been regular and timely inspections, they would have been aware of the potential for failure," Smiley added.
This has been an unfortunately too-regular occurrence in city parks, and in Central Park in particular: a 33-year-old man was placed into a coma after a branch hit him in 2009; three people were injured by a falling branch in 2010; a baby was killed by a fallen tree branch near the Central Park Zoo also in 2010; and in 2013, a woman was seriously injured by a branch.