To whom it may concern,
My name is Harold Strand, my wife Christina DeSoto and I were residents at 939 N. VanNess ave. Apt# 2. On 9-2-07 my wife parked our vehicle at 953 N. VanNess ave. Our vehicle was parked on the street in front of the above mentioned residence. Sometime between 2:30pm and 5:40pm a branch from a large tree fell onto our vehicle. There was extensive damage to our vehicle, so we went to three body and paint shops to get estimates for the damage. The estimates provided us with information that estimate the damage at $3053-$3197. After we received the estimates, we turned in a claim for damages form to the risk management division of the city of Fresno. We also provided pictures depicting the damage to our vehicle, as well as pictures of the tree and surrounding area. On 10-4-07 we received a letter from the risk management division that notified us of our city file number as well as our assigned risk analyst.
As of 10-31-07 I had received no further contact from the risk management division. So, I called and left a message for our risk analyst (Lori Tigson), asking for information regarding the status of our claim for damages. Lori called me back a couple hours later and told me that our claim had been denied. I asked her why the claim was being denied, and she said that the city has fulfilled their obligation to care for the tree by providing trimming within their regularly scheduled intervals. I asked her if they were denying that the tree was on city property or if the city was denying that they are responsible for the care of the tree. She told me no. She informed me that they were not denying that the tree had hit our vehicle; they were denying our claim simply because they had trimmed the tree in 2005. I was astounded! I could not believe that she was telling me that just because the city had trimmed the tree, they would assume no further liability for the tree.
KSEE 24 , we are asking for your help. We believe that the liability of the city should not end with trimming the tree. Our vehicle was parked in accordance with vehicle codes, we took very detailed pictures, provided the city with consistent estimates from three different and separate established body and paint shops, and did so within a reasonable amount of time. We believe that the city is responsible for any accident involving city property weather scheduled maintenance has been performed or not. Please do anything you can to help us with this issue. We know your station probably has more interesting news to broadcast, and we don't know if any of your reporters would be willing to take the time to help us. We are reaching out to you as concerned citizens, because we don't know what else we can do. We just think that every citizen in the city of Fresno would be interested to know that our city refuses to take responsibility for damages to the personal property of its residents. We would greatly appreciate any help or advice that you can give us regarding a resolution to this issue. You can reach us at (559)244-9080 or (559)375-2226. Or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter,
Harold Strand and Christina De Soto