Sep 13, 2017, 3:45 PM ET

Mother of 3 hit by falling tree in Central Park plans $200M lawsuit


A New York City mother of three who was injured while trying to shield her children from a falling tree in New York City's Central Park last month plans to sue the city and the park, her attorneys said Wednesday.

The woman, 39-year-old Anne Monoky Goldman, plans to file a $200 million notice of claim against the city and the Central Park Conservancy, which said the tree was uprooted due to decay beneath the surrounding pavement, her attorney Jordan Merson told ABC's New York station WABC on Tuesday.

In a press conference Wednesday, Goldman's attorneys -- Tom Kline and Merson -- announced that she had filed a notice of claim today signaling her intent to sue New York City and the Central Park Conservancy for neglect and failure to properly maintain the trees in the park.

Goldman was pushing her 4-year-old and 2-year-old in a stroller and carrying her infant in her arms on Aug. 15 when a 75-foot tree toppled over and crashed down on her. She was pinned on the ground for about 10 minutes before firefighters freed her, authorities said.

On Wednesday, Goldman's attorneys alleged she suffered from a variety of injuries including a concussion and spine and neck fractures that require her to stay in bed, though she has left the hospital.

PHOTO: Central Park workers clean up around an area where a massive tree came down injuring a mother and her three young children, Aug. 15, 2017, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Central Park workers clean up around an area where a massive tree came down injuring a mother and her three young children, Aug. 15, 2017, in New York City.

Goldman "risked her life and body to save her children and she has paralysis-threatening injuries," Merson said in a written statement.

The city's law department said it would review the filing.

PHOTO: Central Park workers clean up around an area where a massive tree came down injuring a mother and her three young children, Aug. 15, 2017, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Central Park workers clean up around an area where a massive tree came down injuring a mother and her three young children, Aug. 15, 2017, in New York City.

A bystander told WABC last month that he was walking by the park when the tree fell over.

"She didn't see it coming, and it just fell right on top of her," the man said of the woman. He described hearing the crack of the tree as a "big log snapping" that "fell real fast."

After the incident, a spokesperson for the Central Park Conservancy told WABC that it employs tree crews seven days a week. The CPC claimed that crews regularly inspect and maintain Central Park'ss nearly 20,000 trees in accordance with industry standards, WABC reported.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.

News - Mother of 3 hit by falling tree in Central Park plans $200M lawsuit

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  • Marconi Ojascastro Tuliao

    What this writer of this article meant to say is,

    Tree died because it couldn't handle World Climate Change.

    If only President Trump signed the Global Climate Change Initiative, this tree would still be alive.

    Donald Trump cause Global Warming

    Donald Trump cause Global Climate Change

    Donald Trump created Hurricane Irma

    Donald Trump flooded Florida and Texas while killing and made homeless countless of people; as well as made people of color pillage empty homes and Shoe Stores

    Donald Trump killed that tree

    It is all Trump Fault!!!
    Blame Trump!!
    Impeach Trump!!!

  • Guthrum

    Why not sue the tree?

  • Charles Charmichael

    Who can stand living with so many trees? They suck up all the oxygen.

  • E Sverdrup

    Sounds like she sustained significant injuries. Hope she heals. I also think it's time for tort reform.

  • Frank Muniz

    The city should counter sue her for excessive greed!

  • Dicazi

    I dont know how it is in NYC, but locally, some people have raised a huge fuss, including lawsuits, when the city or metropark has tried to take down old decaying trees.

  • Billy Porter

    The witness said there was no warning. The story said she faced personal injury in order to save her children. Which is it?

  • Charles_Heston

    What a load

  • Pi_Boson

    She should file suit against deplorable enterprise as they are pontificating climate change deniers, thus causing the collapsing trees.

  • Feltois Young

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott only got $10mil, and he's in a shopping cart for the rest of his life.

  • KRJ

    People act as if she will get 200 million just because she's suing for that amount. She will settle or win an amount much less then the 200m. I also wonder how many people here would not sue if they were laid up in bed for months or years and their child had brain injuries? My bet is almost if not all would sue

  • Joseph Colorado

    Hmmm .... why doesn't she sue whatever god she follows, mother nature, the company that made the concrete/blacktop/bricks/etc.

    Sheesh ... $200 million (out of the pockets of an insurance company paid for by other tax payers) for something that actually meets the definition of accident.

    No problem with medical bills, therapy bills, ongoing/direct care for injuries ... but $200 mil?

    Who would she sue if she got hit by lightning in the park?

  • JustTheOracle

    "Windfall".....what a perfect word. It describes both why the tree came crashing down as well as the end results of the unfortunate event.

  • David Cooper

    This case sounds like what the insurance company and the courts would list as an act of G-D. So tell this woman go to the religious organizations on the globe find out how to contact G-D and send him some legal papers and meet him in a higher court.

  • JuPMod

    (sigh) Sounds like another person just looking for a big payout. Unless she can prove the tree was clearly shown to be leaning and be a possible danger, I doubt she will win. No one can tell how are things going under the ground around the tree. Does she expect the park service to keep using ground radar every day to see if the trees are going to give way under the ground? I find her excuse to make no sense.

  • JockSavant

    Que the "tree experts" lining up for payday on both sides.

    "The tree had no signs of trouble" vs. "The tree had signs of distress and was an obvious threat".
    People will say whatever needed to make a buck. And it will be decided by 12(?) people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.

  • StillThatSameGuy

    So if I twist and break my ankle on a rock in trail in Yosemite, can I sue the Federal a government? I mean.. They should be taking extra care regarding hazards on their marked trails.

    Unless they can prove gross negligence such as the tree having obvious signs of rot or decay that should have been dealt with, this lady doesn't deserve a dime.

  • Planet Earth

    If a tree falls on you without the assistance of a human hand during a storm, or during a sunny day, is there really a difference? Surely many drivers and people got hit by branches and limbs during Irma, should they sue the local governments where it happened?

  • Pangaea 47

    $200 million seems excessive even if she and her child need lifelong care. It also sounds as though nothing the park did was ultimately responsible for this tragic accident, nor would extensive inspections have revealed that the tree was in danger of falling.

  • Kevin Green

    A frivolous lawsuit to say the least. It was an act of nature, nothing more. Now if someone had been working on the tree and left it in a dangerous state or neglected the tree to the point of danger, I can see some merit in the lawsuit. But this appears to simply be someone trying to cash in on an unfortunate event. Especially since she is asking for such an outrageous reward. If found to be so, she should have to pay all the costs of the court and those involved. There far too many trees and natural dangers in central park to expect caretakers to know the health and potentials dangers of every root, trunk, or branch, not to mention all the other potential dangers we face outdoors. I would support her case if she simply wanted reimbursement of her medical bills, ongoing care for her injured child and loss of income. This is a perfect example of how morally and ethically bankrupt our nation has become. If for some reason you support her lawsuit, just remember the judgement will come out of taxpayers pockets...

  • Kajsa Williams

    Going for the gold, huh? How American. How greedy.

  • Pi_Boson

    Plausible culpability as she was next to the tree when it finally fell and it is possible that her CO2 emission is the root reason the tree to fall at that exact time.

  • FasterBadger

    I know $200 millions sounds like a lot, but let's remember that much of that goes to attorneys :/.

  • Pi_Boson

    I plan to file counter-suit against this lady for consuming my Central Park oxygen which caused the tree to die prematurely.

  • Rudi Stein

    give her 20 million rupees.

  • Uncle Ed

    If this had occurred in a National Forest there would be no questions asked: you risk your skin when you enter a National Forest. If the forest is man-made, somehow that makes a difference? But lawyers love this kind of opportunity. The people of NYC are not to blame for a tree that falls down. So the money she will need must come from somewhere else.

  • dancer92136

    Should she get restitution...of course. Should she get 200 Million? Hell NO

  • Personal

    She should of course get some money but suing the citizens of her city for $200m is going to turn public opinion against her. Stupid move, IMHO.

  • MandalayBay328

    I just dont understand if you were walking - how could you not have gotten out of the way in time. Thats a pretty big tree, its gonna fall sideways, its not like a branch snapped off and fell straight down on you....

  • justinthyme3


  • ohyes2011

    Seeing the headline I thought it was just another money grubber. But it appears her injuries are serious.

  • ShawnLetwin

    Negligence or act of nature? Clear Central Park of all trees to remove the opportunity of negligence by the city.