OAKLAND, Calif. – At least four people in California have been killed when decaying trees have snapped over the past 16 months, including an Oakland teen whose family is suing the city over his death last December while he was climbing a tree.
The lawsuit filed Monday by the parents of 16-year-old Jack Lewis alleges that the tree was marked for removal because it was dead or dying, but city officials failed to remove it until after the boy's death.
The boy's father, Michael Lewis, said it's "terribly difficult" to get through Christmas without their son.
The family's attorney, John Winer, said shortly after the incident that Oakland city officials told the Lewis family that the tree could have been cut earlier, but arborists have many trees to monitor.
A spokesman for the city attorney's office said Tuesday the office could not comment because officials had not yet seen the lawsuit.