As most of you have heard, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the east coast causing devastating damage and injury. While the clean up efforts are underway, and the governors of New York and New Jersey and the mayor of New York City  have been praised for their leadership during the storm, we don’t always hear about the legal issues that face many people after a superstorm like Sandy. So I wanted to address some legal issues you might be curious about. Here is my first edition of legal issues affecting Hurricane Sandy victims.

Falling Trees – Cause Deaths and Lawsuits

It wasn’t surprising to hear how the high winds of Hurricane Sandy caused many trees to fall causing damage and even death. For example, after the storm, in Hauppauge, NY, a tree fell on a man during a cleanup operation and killed him.

What happens if a tree on your property fell and killed another person? If that family brings you into court to pay for the damage your tree caused or even for the wrongful death of a family member you could be liable. There are many factors used when considering liability. One factor being whether or not the tree on your property is healthy or unhealthy or if you weren't properly maintaining it properly.

Act of God Defense

Hurricane Sandy can be considered an ‘Act of God’ under the law. An act of God is essentially an unusual and uncontrollable occurrence of nature and can relieve you of some liability. So if you were not negligent in maintaining your trees you may potentially be free of liability. Unfortunately, if you have not maintained your trees it does not matter if your trees fell and injured someone or something during Sandy.

Bottom line: If a tree on your property fell and damaged someone's property or injured another, or if you or your property was damaged or injured, you might want to seek legal counsel to discuss your options.