'Private' Tree Falling in Road Fails to Create Successful GTLA Claim Against City

SHANNON RALEY, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT OF KIN OF TIFFANY RALEY, DECEASED v. CITY OF KNOXVILLE
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

James K. Scott, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shannon Raley.

Ronald E. Mills, Deputy Law Director, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Knoxville.

Judge: FRIERSON

This action presents the question of whether a claim properly may be brought against the City of Knoxville (“the City”) pursuant to the Governmental Tort Liability Act (“GTLA”) under circumstances where a tree located on the real property of a private landowner fell and caused the death of a motorist traveling on a city street. The trial court dismissed the claim, finding that the City maintained immunity pursuant to the GTLA and the public duty doctrine. Plaintiff appeals. We affirm the trial court’s dismissal of the claim.

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