Killed by a fallen tree in Rome, the lawyer: “The Municipality is civilly responsible”

“There are two paths for compensation” the lawyer Guido Camera, president of ‘ItaliaStatodiritto’, tells Adnkronos

There are two paths for the heirs of victims of events of this type: ask compensation for damages in criminal proceedings or directly in civil proceedings“. This was told to Adnkronos by the lawyer Guido Camera, president of ‘ItaliaStatodiritto’, when asked, after the death of a woman this morning in Rome due to the fall of a tree, on what the possibilities are for requesting compensation.

In the first case “one becomes a civil party, a defender is appointed to exercise compensation for damages in the criminal trial. The judge is asked not only to impose a criminal sentence but to condemn the defendant or defendants to compensation for damages – he explains – The civil party has the possibility to request in the criminal trial the summons of the civilly liable person, the summons of a person other than the accused who is required by law to compensate, jointly and severally with the accused, the damages, which in this case could be the Municipality”, hypothesizes the lawyer.

As for the other hypothesis, “the heirs have the possibility of directly starting a civil case without waiting for the outcome of the criminal proceedings. It is obvious – reasons the lawyer – that since the investigations allow means of reconstructing the fact and collecting the more invasive tests offer more tools therefore generally, as always happens in cases of negligent liability such as medical liability or in road accidents, if there are deaths or serious injuries, civil action is usually brought before the criminal judge”. But “there is no prohibition on directly pursuing civil action before the civil judge without considering the developments that the criminal case will have, it is up to the individual’s decision”.

As to the possibility of accepting the request, “we need to see whether there is any omission on the part of the subjects who had the duty to intervene and therefore to exercise that position of guaranteeing the community with respect to dangerous situations. It seems to me that in the area they were already complaining about the failure to prune trees. This is the distinction – clarifies Camera – when there is a situation of obvious danger and there is an absence or delay in the intervention and therefore that source of danger becomes a risk factor and the threshold of concrete questioning of people’s rights is raised, it is clear that there is a responsibility, not voluntary but involuntary, the so-called negligence. I imagine that in this phase, from the investigations of the prosecutor’s office, the injured parties will try to understand from there whether they emerge elements that allow us to demonstrate that the dangerous situation was evident and had also been reported and that those who had the duty to intervene did not do so”

“It’s a problem in Rome but not only. In cities there is always an increase in dangerous situations: greenery is one, road traffic is another. The real issue is understanding from a criminal point of view who is actually responsible without shooting into the mix, an accurate investigation must be carried out to understand the various levels of political and administrative responsibility, what they knew and what they didn’t do. From a civil point of view – concludes the president of ‘ItaliaStatodiritto’ – there is a subject by law who is responsible for paying compensation for damages and if there are responsibilities, which is the local authority, i.e. the Municipality”.