Father of woman killed by city tree hires lawyer

The father of a woman who died in September from a falling tree has tapped a Beverly Hills law firm to represent her family ahead of possible litigation, an attorney from the firm confirmed Thursday.

Sunyl Chung, father of Haeyoon Miller, 29, hired the law offices of Richard D. Hoffman, Daniel Boasberg said.

Boasberg did not discuss the legal avenues the firm is exploring, but the law requires that the family must first file a claim for damages with Newport Beach, which was maintaining the tree under an agreement with Costa Mesa, before it could pursue a lawsuit.

Miller's long-term boyfriend George Osorio of Tustin said that Chung is making arrangements from South Korea, and that the family is now discussing its options. Miller's sister and mother live in Southern California.

Miller was killed Sept. 15 on Irvine Avenue, near the Costa Mesa-Newport Beach border, after a 10-ton eucalyptus tree in a median just north of 17th Street tipped over and fell on her car.

Since the crash, more than 140 eucalyptus in Newport Beach have been removed.

No claims related to the death have been filed.

The Newport Beach Independent was first to report this week that the family had retained counsel.

— Joseph Serna

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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