A couple whose 6-month-old baby was killed by a thick tree branch in Central Park won a $13 million settlement after a 10-year legal battle.
Karla del Gallo and husband Michael Ricciutti had taken their daughter to the Central Park zoo in 2010 when the devastating incident occurred.
They had only posed for a photo when a thick tree branch suddenly fell on the mother, who was carrying their child at that time.
“She didn’t get to call us Mum and Dad. She can’t go to school. She didn’t get to take her first steps,” heartbroken Ricciutti said a year after the tragedy.
“So much was taken from her. Everything was taken from her.”
Del Gallo spent weeks in a medically-induced coma but she still suffers from cognitive problems because of the incident.
A year after the tragedy, she had operations on her brain, neck, stomach, eyes, shoulders, cheeks, and throat. She couldn’t read, walk, dress herself or drive.
In 2011, the couple decided to file a claim against the city, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Central Park Conservancy, and Beucler Tree Experts of Tenafly.
On the anniversary of their child, who would have turned 11 this year, Ricciutti said to New York Post: “It seemed like a split second. I looked up and looked down, and that was it. My daughter and wife were on the ground. [Karla] was trying to move a little bit, and yell out.
“Her relative was just trying to keep her still. She was trying to sit up. I knelt over Gianna, and was trying to pick her up.”
After a decade-long battle, the case was finally settled in November, with Beucler paying $3 million, insurance companies for the Wildlife Conservation Society paying $10 million, and the conservancy and the city paying out $750,000.
In 2013, a 44-year-old woman had her spine partially broken after an oak tree limb fell on her. She won an $11.5 million settlement against the city.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this story with your friends and family!