Marion County Commissioners approved an $85,000 settlement to a woman who was injured by a tree branch on a county road.
The settlement was unanimously approved by commissioners during the commission’s regular meeting on Tuesday, June 1.
According to county records, on October 8, 2018, Dana Loos was traveling southbound on West Anthony Road when a large tree branch fell onto her vehicle.
Loos sustained severe injuries that have prevented her from working since the accident, resulting in $200,000 in lost wages.
County Attorney Matthew G. Minter recommended the county approve the settlement, explaining the potential liability of trees falling in a roadway across the county.
“A local government is not a guarantor of the safety of everyone driving on roadways,” said Minter. He explained that regardless of whether or not the county was aware of problematic trees, if the case were to go to trial, the county would likely be liable in the eyes of a jury for not having addressed the issue.
According to Minter, the settlement represented a “fair balance of the risk” involved in taking the case to trial.
“We wish the best for Ms. Loos,” said Chairman Jeff Gold.