A year and a half after a crane weighing more than 50 tons crushed their northwest Santa Rosa home while removing a giant oak tree, residents of the house have reached a legal settlement with the crane operator and the tree company.

The case, filed in September by Kevin and Michelle Jacobsen McCarthy, appeared headed to trial July 8 with all parties pointing fingers at each other.

Both defendants, Santa Rosa-based Kingsborough Atlas Tree Surgery Inc. and Marin Storage and Trucking Inc., which does business as Reliable Crane and Rigging of Petaluma, sued each other after the McCarthys sued them, claiming the other was at fault for the Nov. 16, 2009 accident. There appeared to be no room for agreement.

But an attorney for Marin Storage said Monday the case had settled, at least as far as the McCarthys were concerned, with the terms to remain confidential.

Atlas owner Rich Kingsborough confirmed a settlement, adding, "I'm not allowed to talk about it."

Some remaining contention between Atlas and Marin Storage should be settled shortly, outside the courtroom, said Sam Swenson, an attorney with the Sacramento office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, which represents Marin Storage.

But "the dispute with the McCarthys has been settled by all parties," Swenson said.

The McCarthys did not return several calls for comment. David Berry, attorney for the family, said in an email he would not comment.

It remains unknown when the home will be replaced and what the future holds for the family. The home on Molly Court was sliced in half when the crane toppled onto the roof. Today, half of the home is demolished and the other half sits vacant, enclosed behind a security fence.

The settlement was a long time coming for the McCarthys, who, with their two young sons, have been living in a rented home for a year and a half wondering if and when they would be able to rebuild the house they occupied for less than four months before the crane crashed through it.

As the case languished, the McCarthys "moved from upset to outrage," Berry said previously.

Their wrecked house had been insured for the standard 1 1/2 times its purchase price. But it was not enough to cover the $750,000 that was the estimated cost in 2009 of rebuilding, Berry said.

He said the couple needed to rebuild completely because the force of the crane put the whole structure off-kilter. Further increasing costs, rebuilding means bringing the house up to current code, he said.

At the time of the accident, Reliable's crane was parked at the front of the house with its boom extended over the house to the back, where an Atlas tree crew had cut limbs free from a diseased Valley Oak and was beginning to cut lengths of trunk for removal.

The crane, which has a 175-ton capacity when properly rigged and counterweighted, was rigged for 7,900 pounds that day, based on contract specifications from Atlas indicating trunk weights would be in the 5,000-pound range, co-owner Bill Magee has said.

The first section of tree weighed in around 5,100 pounds, Magee said.

Kingsborough estimated the second length at 5,800 pounds, but it was actually more than twice that heavy, according to Cal-OSHA reports on the incident.

Rather than drop his load and risk death or injury to Atlas personnel he could not see, the operator twisted away from the tree and the crane crashed through the McCarthys' home, Magee said.

In claiming Atlas bore full responsibility for the accident, Marin Storage further sought more than $250,000 to cover the cost of repairing the crane and loss of income in its absence.

Atlas, however, claimed its part in the operation was "passive" and "secondary" when compared with the "active, primary nature of the conduct" of the crane company.

The McCarthys sought general damages, lost earnings, damage to real estate, loss of personal property, attorneys fees and "other relief as the court may deem just and proper," the lawsuit states.