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Team 10: Family of woman killed by tree files lawsuit

Posted at 5:41 AM, Oct 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-07 10:56:39-04

SAN DIEGO - The family of a woman who was killed in January after a tree fell on her car has filed a wrongful death against the city of San Diego, San Diego County and the state of California.

On Jan. 31, Nicki Carano died after an eight-foot-diameter tree fell across all four lanes of a Pacific Beach street, crushing fours cars, including hers.

The family's lawsuit alleges the city of San Diego owed a legal duty to Carano to keep the roadway safe of hidden dangers and they breached that duty. The suit also alleges city employees had a duty to inspect the trees adjacent to the roadway for flaws because it is a frequently traveled public use area.

According to the lawsuit, there was a defect in the subject tree that made it hazardous to the public and cause or contributed to Carano's death. The family also claims city employees had a duty to make the area safe and the failure to make the area safe and/or worn of the potential hazard was a direct and proximate cause of Carano’s wrongful death.

The lawsuit makes the same claims against the county and state, and it also alleges city employees failed to properly implement or carry out a hazardous tree management plan.

Carano was a talented drummer and singer who was on her way to a performance with her band when she was killed. Friends and family say she played in a number of bands in gigs around the world.

Team 10 reached out to city and county officials for a comment on the lawsuit late Thursday afternoon, but as of late Thursday evening, the city has not responded.

County officials say they haven’t seen the lawsuit. They received a claim and rejected it because the tree was not on their property.