Woman Blaming City For Injuries From Fallen Tree

CHICAGO (CBS) — During a major storm last month that brought heavy rain and two tornadoes to the Chicago area, one woman was trapped in her car for several minutes after a large tree limb came crashing down on the car just feet away from her home.

Eyewitness John Yundt said the limb that hit Jackie Granlund’s car on June 21 was almost half of the tree from which it had fallen.

“Someone told me it was close to six tons,” he said. “It destroyed a car. The car that it hit here was totaled.”

That six-ton tree limb came crashing down on the car Jackie Granlund was riding in during a fierce storm and it happened right around the corner from her North Side house.

She said she had gone out with a co-worker for dinner after work and, as they were driving home, the weather changed suddenly and “it got very windy and started pouring rain.”

Granlund said she called her daughter from the car to tell her to open the front door to her house so she could just run inside from the car to avoid getting completely soaked in the rain.

“And all of a sudden, the whole roof came in,” she said. “And fortunately we were driving past a parked car that the tree fell onto also, otherwise it probably would have been worse for us.”

Yundt and others heard the crash and ran out to help.

“You could also see where the tree hit the car, it missed killing them by only a matter of a foot or two,” he said.

“I feel lucky to be alive. I feel very lucky to be alive,” Granlund said.

Granlund was left with a mild concussion, pretty bad facial bruises, a banged-up leg and an emergency room bill for nearly $6,000.

But Yundt, the man whose house is right under the top part of that tree – which sits on a city parkway – said he is angry that city officials didn’t do something about the tree before the storm, even though he’d repeatedly complained the tree appeared to be rotting and could be dangerous.

“My first instinct was all the calls that I’ve been making about the tree and telling them that this was going to keep happening and are they going to wait till somebody gets hurt,” he said. “And then I thought, it’s happened; someone’s been hurt.”

“I’ve called the city about the tree, probably once a year, for the last four years and what I’m usually told is that there’s a long wait list and they’ll send somebody out,” he added.

Granlund said she thinks the city should have cut down the tree altogether.

“It’s hard for me to believe that they couldn’t take down a tree that has been complained about,” Granlund said.

Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th) said crews have gone out and trimmed the tree at least once in the past year, they just didn’t take it down completely because crews determined the trees were still alive.

“The portion of the tree that came down still has a portion that was alive after the branch fell off,” O’Connor said. “It’s not the city’s policy to come down and cut live trees.”

O’Connor also said that, when trees are on city property, homeowners cannot cut them down either. He said tree trimming is now done on a grid – or area-wide – system, instead of by ward. So, he conceded that tree trimmers might only get to areas once a year, if that often.

  • Centurion

    She should also file suit against the Arbor Day Foundation for wanting those ridiculous trees in the first place. Then, she should file suit against the National Weather Service for not tracking the storm by NANOSECONDS which would have allowed to be home safely.

    • Bette

      Ho ho, who wodula thunk it, right?

  • granolla bute ed howle

    chop your own tree down lazy @$$!

  • arjay

    BS! The city isn’t responsible for the storm nor any damage caused by it. She better not get any of my tax dollars as a settlement!

  • Gabe

    Jackie, file a claim with your insurance and get over it. Why should my tax dollars pay for your 6000 dollar black eye hospital bill ? Get over it.

  • tom Sharp

    Sue Walter J., I’m sure his “Perspective” tonight will be an affront to common sense and good taste!

  • Centurion

    At least she is not claiming the fallen tree made her ugly. She did that all by herself

    • Patty

      I am sure with a name like centurion you are a beauty.

  • Joe Patroni

    What attorney would even take this case? There’s nothing there. It is not like a broken sidewalk. Who did she retain? Out the attorney, not her. Clients go to ethincal attorneys everyday and are told that “they have nothing.” Just because she files, doen’t mean she will get anything. The City has a good legal dept. and she won’t see a dime.

    • Patty

      wow what channel did you watch? I didnt hear anything about taking this case to an attorney.

  • Kendra

    Just another person in this world who doesn’t like to own up to their actions/irresponsibilities. It is NOT the city’s fault that a fierce storm knocked out trees everywhere. She should have not run out of a car into the path of a tree.

    Sue happy people need to take responsibly for their own actions!

    • Patty

      Ignorant…she was going home and the storm just started…and wow humm they forgot to put the pic up of her pulling the tree down on her friends car. These are ignorant statements …sorry

  • Chicago

    Is it just me, or does it sound like she could have still been on the phone when it came crashing down? Averting her attention from the road and a crashing down tree limb.

    • Patty

      It’s just you

      • Geralyn

        Way to use the internet to help people solve prlobems!

  • Citizen for a Liable Chicago

    Since God sent the storm, and Mother Nature oversees the trees, they have just retained the Adams family. Jr. and Sr to represent them.

  • dana

    Wow, one she wasn’t the driver…passenger…two, if the tree was called about for being dangerous numerous times by neighbors being concerned then it is the citys fault. Leavitt is a two way street allowing no room for a driver to avoid a tree crashing down on them. And im sure if it was a loved one of yours who nearly died, you probably would word your statements more appropriately rather than coming off so ignorantly.

  • Jim

    Sounds like those morons that went on LSD during a blizzard and blamed the city for getting stuck…it’s called common sense people!

  • Patty

    Wow Jim are you speaking from experience? You know the news media does’nt give the whole story….she was a passenger in a car….the car was moving….the storm had just started. And I don’t remember her saying she was bringing this to court at all….she wants the city to be aware of this dangerous tree as did the other person calling the city….the tree was an endangerment….like the other trees that caused all the outages 600,000 of them..so maybe the city should start thinking about these trees. Mother nature is a b***h at times and you can’t change that but you can make the city aware of the dangers so when a storm hits we don’t have these outages that can cause deaths and injuries.

    • Smiley

      Very valid, pithy, scuicnct, and on point. WD.

  • dana

    Whether or not you agree that the city should be held responsible for these bills or not, to leave statements as ignorantly as the ones that were posted is unbelieveably ridiculous. IF there were a child in the car that was hurt or in danger due to the city being neglectful on their responsibilities to look out for that safety of the tax payers in these communities then i am sure that numerous people would be outraged. The sad part is; is that the tax payers money is going into the city to make it look nice ..ie putting medians in the road with flower beds and other BS which is a waste of tax payers money when the city should be holding up their end to be stopping the crime in neighborhoods, looking out for the well being of innocent people who just so happen to be in a storm under a tree that at least one individual had called the city about for the past 4 YEARS. that is just neglectful on their behalf!!!

  • Tom Smith

    She should sue Mother Nature for a million dollars.

  • Lyndee

    I really couldn’t ask for more from this atircle.

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