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Secret settlement for family whose house was crushed by crane

  • Workers attempt to remove a 100,000-pound crane, that fell into a Santa Rosa home on Molly Court, on Tuesday, November 17, 2009. The crane sliced into Michelle and Kevin McCarthy's Santa Rosa home yesterday while trying to remove a 150-year-old tree.

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.

Crane Into Santa Rosa House Suit Settled

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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.


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