October 2, 2014
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A jury has ordered the city of San Diego to pay $6.7 million to a man who was maimed by a giant palm tree that fell on him after cutbacks on yearly inspections and maintenance.
City News Service reports the lower half of Michael Burke's body was paralyzed by the 60-foot, 2,600-pound tree that fell on him Jan. 21, 2010.
In the trial's first phase, jurors found that the city failed to act despite knowing the Queen Palm was in a dangerous condition before it fell on Burke outside his home.
City Attorney's office spokesman Jonathan Heller says the case is far from over and the tree toppling was an unforeseeable act of God.
Burke, an attorney, and his wife were awarded the sum for lost wages and medical expenses.
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