Lawsuit likely in San Bruno falling tree branch injury

An Indiana woman who needed spinal surgery after a tree branch fell on her in San Bruno Mountain State and County Park will likely file a lawsuit against San Mateo County, her attorney said.

On Tuesday, county supervisors rejected a $3 million claim from Marcia Anderson, who was visiting family in California and had never been to the park before the May 1 incident, her attorney, Elise Sanguinetti, said.

Anderson, 60, was walking along a paved path with her daughter and another person when a eucalyptus tree branch fell on her, Sanguinetti said.

According to the claim, Anderson suffered a subarachnoid hematoma, fractures to her vertebrae, ribs, skull and scapula, a collapsed lung and blood in the chest cavity.

She had spinal surgery, was hospitalized for 3½ weeks and was in rehabilitation for another month, according to the claim.

Sanguinetti declined to comment on the county’s role, saying the legal issues would be described if and when a lawsuit is filed.

Deputy County Counsel Kim Marlow declined to comment on the claim, but said the county will be investigating it.

Anderson is trying to return to her job with the court system in Indiana, though she is still in pain and has “difficulty moving in general,” Sanguinetti said. “She’s going to have to live with very significant injuries the rest of her life, but she is doing her best to try to get back to as much of a regular lifestyle as she possibly can.”

Last year, San Francisco agreed to a $650,000 settlement with the family of Kathleen Bolton, who was killed by a large tree branch that fell on her in Stern Grove.

sbishop@sfexaminer.com

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