The family of a Silver Spring motorist killed three years ago when a tree fell on his van near Fort Meade sued yesterday three government agencies for $16 million, charging they all were negligent.
The three children and wife of Gary R. Wright Sr., claimed in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court that each of the agencies "knew or should have known that" the tree "was weak, rotten, unstable, and likely to fall at any time, without warning," but failed to remove it.
The suit, filed three years to the day after the accident, names Maryland, the State Department of Transportation, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Labor as defendants.
Maryland is charged with maintaining the road, The Labor Department is charged with maintaining the Job Corp Training Center where the tree fell and land records show that the land is owned by the District of Columbia government, explained Jay B. Dorsey, the Washington lawyer representing the Wrights.
He said Mr. Wright was a carpet installer in his mid-20s who was on his way home from work March 17, 1990, when the accident occurred.
According to the suit, Mr. Wright was heading west on Md. Route 198 in front of the Job Corps Training Center site about 12:30 a.m. when a large tree fell on to his Ford van.
The tree went through the roof and killed Mr. Wright, according to the 10-page complaint.
The suit is filed on behalf of Mr. Wright's three children; Gary Raymond Wright II, and Kathy Wright, both of the 3200 block of Whispering Pines Drive, Silver Spring, and Christine Elaine Wright, of Powell, Wyoming; and his widow, Ellen Gay Wright of the 9400 block of Hickory View Place, Gaithersburg.