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Family of woman killed by falling 70-foot tree explores lawsuit

November 10, 2011 |  5:54 pm

The father of a woman who was killed when a nearly 70-foot  eucalyptus tree fell on her car in a Costa Mesa intersection has hired a Beverly Hills lawyer to explore filing a lawsuit.

Haeyoon Miller, 29, was sitting at a red light near Newport Harbor High School when the tree, planted in a median, crashed onto her blue Hyundai.

According to witnesses, emergency crews were able to lift the tree but then it slipped back onto the car.

Miller’s father, Sunyl Chung, has now hired the law office of Richard D. Hoffman, the Daily Pilot reported. Daniel Boasberg, an attorney with the firm, would not discuss what legal avenues the firm is exploring.

By law the family must first file a claim for damages with Newport Beach, which was maintaining the tree under an agreement with Costa Mesa. Only after a claim is denied by a government agency can a lawsuit be pursued. No claim has thus far been filed

Miller's long-term boyfriend, George Osorio, of Tustin said that Chung is making the legal arrangements from South Korea.

Since the crash, more than 140 eucalyptus trees in Newport Beach have been removed.


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Photo:  Firefighters lift the trunk of a eucalyptus tree  off a Hyundai driven by Haeyoon Miller, 29, of Tustin. Credit:  Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times