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Ivan Puchalt, a partner at the Santa Monica plaintiff’s firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler Ivan Puchalt, a partner at the Santa Monica plaintiffs firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler.

Injuries from falling trees and tree branches have risen over the last 10 years due to drought, an aging urban tree population and deferred maintenance by public entities due to budget restrictions. After the 2008 economic crisis, many municipalities in California curtailed trimming and pruning programs as a part of budget cuts and have increasingly relied on untrained landowners to identify and report sick or dangerous trees. Some municipalities have reported an over 30% increase in tree failures. In more natural surroundings, the U.S. Forest Service estimates that 18.6 million trees died in 2018 as a result of drought and beetle infestation.

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