- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A German woman who was severely injured when part of a tree fell on her in breezy weather in Grand Teton National Park has sued the federal government, claiming park workers failed to remove the pine despite a policy to take hazardous trees from developed areas.

The accident happened in 2013, minutes after Anna Schneider of Koblenz, Germany, and her then-fiance arrived at a campsite in Colter Bay Campground. The light breeze picked up soon after their arrival.

Schneider suffered blood loss and several fractures when hit by a section of a tree measuring 41 feet long and 10 inches in diameter, according to her lawsuit filed Nov. 16 in U.S. District Court for Wyoming.

A tree management plan for the park spells out policy for identifying and removing trees that present a safety threat, the lawsuit says.

Schneider alleges park workers should have noticed that the tree was hazardous because of its forked shape. Also, it was a lodgepole pine, a species the park has identified as a high-risk species, according to the lawsuit.

Park employees inspected the campground for hazards in 2011 and arranged for trees to be removed from the campground the following year, according to the lawsuit.

Park employees had a duty to remove the tree that fell but didn’t, the lawsuit states.

Schneider claims she has incurred more than $700,000 in medical bills.

Park officials declined to comment, citing National Park Service policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Last June, hundreds of cottonwood, aspen and lodgepole pine trees fell during a gusty thunderstorm in the park. The trees briefly stranded dozens of motorists but nobody was hurt.

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