Skip to main content

A tree branch killed his mother in Golden Gate Park. Now he’s suing

Cyclists and pedestrians traverse John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on March 24, 2022. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

The son of a woman who was killed by a falling tree branch in Golden Gate Park is suing San Francisco, alleging the city’s shoddy upkeep of trees led to her death.

Dario Abramskiehn, 35, alleges in a suit filed Thursday that his mother was killed because the city failed to prevent falling branches and did not warn the public that the area beneath the tree was dangerous. 

Beth Louise Abrams, 73, was found dead on Jan. 14 beside a fallen tree branch near Lindley Meadow, a tree-lined green off John F. Kennedy Drive and 30th Avenue, in the wake of winter storms that pummeled the Bay Area with gale-force winds and heavy rain.

READ MORE: 6 Injured After Tree Falls at Bay Area Park

San Francisco Public Works employees clean up fallen trees at Dolores Park in the city's Mission District on Jan. 5, 2023, in the wake of an atmospheric river storm. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

“Despite having actual and/or constructive knowledge of the danger of falling trees, limbs, and branches, defendants failed to take protective measures to safeguard against the danger, thereby creating a substantial risk of injury or death to persons,” her son’s lawsuit alleges.

Abramskiehn demanded more than $7 million in damages due to loss of companionship, loss of income and funeral expenses brought on by his mother’s death.

“Once we are served, we will review the complaint and respond appropriately,” the City Attorney’s Office wrote in an emailed statement.

Neither Abramskiehn nor his attorney, Matthew Wertheim, responded to requests for comment by publication time.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at