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Giant Pinecone Crushes Man, Leads to Lawsuit

download (6)Going out and enjoying nature is fun, but nature can be unpredictable. Accidents can happen when you least expect it. That is what happened when a U.S. Navy veteran was taking a nap under a large tree in San Francisco. A 16 pound pine cone fell on his head and caused him a traumatic a brain injury.

According to a recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sean Mace was visiting the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park as a part of Fleet Week on Oct. 12, 2014, to watch the Blue Angels air show. During the festivities, Mace decided to take a nap under a tree. He was awakened by an unbelievably large pine cone weighing 16 pounds that landed on his head.

The force of the impact from the pine cone crushed Mace’s skull. He was transported to an area hospital where he underwent surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain due to internal bleeding. Mace’s attorney said in a statement that Mace has suffered irreversible brain injury, for which he has already undergone two surgeries and will require a third surgery.

Mace has now filed a lawsuit naming as defendants the U.S. government, the National Park Service, the Department of the Interior and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Mace is suing for $5 million. The lawsuit further states that there should have been warning signs posted or measures taken in order to ensure that no one was hurt by the hazard that the tree’s falling cones could cause.

The tree that caused Mace’s injury is a coniferous Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii) tree. The cones of this tree, usually native to Australia are much larger than other pine cones. The cones of the Bunya pine can grow up to 16 inches in length and weigh as much as 40 pounds!

After the incident involving Mace and the pending lawsuit, the park has fenced off the grove where the tree is located and placed signs stating: “Danger: Giant seed pod falling from tree.”

No one can foresee a potential accident. What looks like an idyllic place to enjoy nature and take a rest, as in the case of Sean Mace, a serious accident can happen when you least expect it. That’s the time that having an attorney working on your side is important.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, no matter what the circumstances, contact the law offices of Auger & Auger. We can help you and your loved ones after the accident and you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries that could include covering any medical, rehabilitative or ongoing expenses that occur as the result of your accident.

After an accident, you need to get legal advice from qualified and experienced attorneys. At Auger & Auger, we can tell you what your case is really worth and fight for your rights for just compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation initial consultation and legal analysis.

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