WMass towns being sued over man’s death from falling tree

Lester Holtzblatt died in incident following James Taylor concert

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline
Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

LENOX, Mass. (AP) — The family of a man from eastern Massachusetts who died when a dead tree fell on him as he returned to his car after a James Taylor concert at Tanglewood is seeking $800,000.

A lawyer for the family of Lester Holtzblatt, of Sudbury, said in a letter to Lenox and Stockbridge that town officials “knew, or reasonably should have known that the long-dead tree presented an imminent safety hazard.”

The tree that fell on the 61-year-old Holtzblatt on July 4, 2012, was thought to be partially in both towns.

The letter says the towns were negligent for not removing an obviously rotted tree from an area that gets many summer visitors.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that the lawyer is seeking a settlement to avoid a lawsuit.

Officials in both communities refused comment.

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