CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Encino Tree Falls on House | One Resident Killed

Encino Tree Accident Kills One

A 100,000-pound oak tree came crashing down onto an Encino home late in the evening on Sunday, November 28, 2021. The Encino tree incident resulted in the death of one of the home’s residents. 

Details of the Tragic Encino Tree Fall

Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) personnel arrived at the home, located on the 5000 block of Odessa Avenue, in response to a call that came in shortly after 11:00 p.m. on Sunday. The firefighters found that a huge tree had crashed down with great force onto the two-story home. Thirty firefighters, along with personnel from the department’s Urban Search and Rescue team, quickly began to assist those that were within the residence.

What First Responders Found

The firefighters initially found two women, along with the family dog, all of whom were on the first floor, trapped. They were led to safety.

Sadly, when first responders searched the second floor of the home, after crawling through tree limbs and debris, they found a man in his sixties who had been killed by the impact of the tree.

What Caused the Encino Tree to Fall?

Investigation into the fatal incident is continuing, and currently, a determination into what caused the tree to fall has not been made. Firefighters did say that the incident does not appear to have been weather-related, as there were no winds and it was not raining. The LAFD Captain posed the question of whether the Santa Ana wind event that occurred last week weakened the tree and contributed to its fall.

Tree Removal & Inspection

Private contractors will be working to remove the tree to prevent any further damage that could be caused by debris shifting. They will also be examining the tree for signs of illness or weakness that could have caused it to come crashing down. 

Prior Issues With the Encino Tree

According to the LAFD, there were no official records that indicated the tree had any past issues. However, a neighbor said that nearby residents had been concerned about the massive tree for a while – he noted that the tree had been leaning directly over the home. The neighbor felt this tragedy was preventable. 

The massive oak tree was protected under state law, and the removal of a native tree requires the approval of the county. Investigators with LAFD say that the homeowners followed Los Angeles County laws and paid for regular tree maintenance. 

Liability for a Tree Accident

When a tree falls and hurts someone, the responsible party is the owner of the property on which the tree is located. In this case, from the details released, it sounds as though the man who was killed was the homeowner, and therefore the owner of the tree. 

Additional details reported by the neighbor raise questions about whether the tree maintenance company or arborist that performed regular maintenance on the tree would have any liability with regard to this tragedy. If the tree was leaning so noticeably, it may have been a clear danger. If the tree was an obvious hazard, the tree professional should have recommended its removal. 

An experienced tree accident lawyer will be able to investigate the relevant facts and determine whether the tree maintenance professionals bear any liability for this incident.

Watch the YouTube video. The news clip below, posted by CBS Los Angeles, reports on this story.

Los Angeles Tree Accident Lawyer

Hello, and thank you for reading our report on this terrible tragedy involving an Encino tree. I’m Ed Smith, a Los Angeles Tree Accident Lawyer. Our compassionate and skilled injury attorneys are here to answer your questions following a tree accident. For free and friendly advice, call us at (213) 992-4300 or (800) 404-5400.

Hearing what others say about a firm’s services and seeing case results can help in the search for a good attorney. Below are links that will lead you to further information about our firm:

Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann via Unsplash

mm llo [cs 678]

Contact Information