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Family Settles Lawsuit for $7.3 Million

Two-year-old child was critically injured by falling tree branch

Published on Thursday, January 16, 2020 | 3:26 pm
 
At left, a Pasadena Fire Dept. paramedic tends to 2-year-old Adelaide Palmstrom on Aug. 29, 2017 after she was struck by a falling tree branch as seen in police body worn camera footage. At right, Adelaide in hospital with her mother. Photos courtesy Panish Shea & Boyle LLP

Pasadena Now has learned that the family of a preschooler injured by a falling tree branch at Linda Vista Children’s Center nearly three years ago has settled a lawsuit for $7.3 million.

“There’s going to be no trial,” Robert Glassman, attorney at Panish Shea & Boyle in Los Angeles. “The parties have all come to an amicable, amicable resolution and the family’s happy to move on and put this scary and sad chapter behind them.”

Adelaide Palmstrom was severely injured on Aug. 29, 2017, when a branch from a tree in the adjacent City park struck her after it fell while she played at the children’s center, severely injuring her.

The two-year-old child suffered traumatic brain injury, a fractured skull vertebral and left tibia fractures, torn cervical spine ligament, and a lower left leg injury.

“We are pleased with the outcome and appreciate everyone’s support for Adelaide,” Marci and Eric Palmstrom said in a joint statement. “The community is amazing, and everyone’s well wishes for her has meant so much to our family. We take it day by day, but her progress has been an inspiration for us all. Hopefully proper tree management will be a priority going forward so that preventable incidents like this can be avoided.”

Palmstrom will receive $3,000 per month for five years beginning on her 18th birthday and $40,000 semiannually for five years starting on her 18th birthday, a $129,000 lump sum on her 19th birthday, a lump sum of $200,000 on her 22nd birthday, $5,000 per month for eight years beginning on her 23rd birthday.

She will receive a $400,000 lump sum on her 24th birthday in 2034, a $600,000 lump sum on her 28th and 30th birthday, $14,100 per year for life beginning on her 31st birthday and a $724,000 lump sum on her 32nd birthday.

Two days following the incident, the City reportedly posted notices and removed trees from the City property adjacent to the Linda Vista Children’s Center, including the tree which caused Adelaide’s injuries.

Palmstrom’s attorneys claimed the school district destroyed the evidence before it could be inspected by Board Certified Master Arborist Cris Falco.

The family’s claim for damages from the City was rejected leading to the subsequent lawsuit filed.

“For a two-year-old girl to have to go through what she did is unimaginable for any parent,” said Glassman. “Everyone was really scared for a long time given how significant her injuries were. She’s such a resilient little girl, so strong. She’s like a little wonder woman. And she’s back up on her feet and she’s on a very positive and good road to recovery.”

The Palmstrom family was represented by the same law firm that represented the families of two children in a lawsuit after a pine tree fell on eight children at Brookside Park outside Kidspace Museum, critically injuring two of them. That case was also settled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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