An Estate Files a $9.5m Suit Against Multnomah County After a Falling Tree Kills an Expectant Woman

The Multnomah Estate of a 30-year-old expectant woman who lost her life when a huge cedar fell onto her Ford SUV has moved to court to seek compensation amounting to $9.50 million. The suit has been filed against the registered owners of the Multnomah County land where the cedar tree grew.

According to the information provided in the lawsuit, Olivier was about four months pregnant when the incident occurred on 1st March 2016, at almost 6:30 am as she was heading to work along the Southeast Oxbow Drive. The cedar tree which was approximately 100-foot tall fell onto the driver’s side of Olivier’s 2001 Ford Explorer and killed her instantly.

Denied Permission

After Olivier’s death, Mark Harrington, the owner of the land where the tree grew came forward and said that the county authorities had denied him the permission to cut down the ill-fated tree and other trees near it that were also in a devastating condition.

Although it isn’t clear why Harrington was denied the permission to cut down the tree, Mr. Pullen, the official county spokesman, says that the county lacks a general code governing the cutting down of trees on private property.

At the time of her death, Olivier was a wife to Jeremy Olivier, and they had a baby boy who was three years old.

The estate where Olivier lived has taken the county to court claiming that the county denied granting the landowners where the tree grew permission to cut it down even after informing them about the rotting nature of the tree. The lawsuit argues that if the county had granted the sought orders to cut down the tree, Olivier’s life couldn’t have been cut short.

Portland attorneys Anthony Furniss and Gregory Leineweber are representing Olivier’s estate in the case which was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Related Cases

The lawsuit filed by Olivier’s estate is the fourth one to be recorded in the past two years over deaths caused by falling trees. A case was filed in 2016 in which the parents of an 11-year-old kid, Lake Oswego after he was killed when a tree fell on top of the car he was riding in.

During the same year, another lawsuit was also filed by the estate of an elderly woman who was killed when a neighbor’s tree fell onto her house at night. This happened in Southeast Portland. A similar case was also reported last year when a 27-year old man was killed while driving along the Columbia Highway.