Widow of firefighter killed by falling tree sues Biltmore Estates

Angela Skudin, the wife of firefighter Casey Skudin, hopes another tragedy like the one her family experienced won't happen at Biltmore Estates.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 11:59 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2022 at 3:11 PM CDT
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - The wife of a firefighter who was crushed by a tree while visiting Biltmore Estates last month has filed a lawsuit, accusing Biltmore of gross negligence.

Casey Skudin, a 16-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, died on June 17 when a tree fell on his family’s rental car while visiting Biltmore Estates.

They were in the Asheville area to celebrate Skudin’s 46th birthday and Father’s Day.

Casey and Angela Skudin and their two sons
Casey and Angela Skudin and their two sons(Vincent Mediaworks)

His wife, Angela Skudin was recording a video as the family entered the property, capturing the tree falling on the vehicle.

“Casey Skudin ultimately died from the injuries in front of his family,” the lawsuit states.

Angela Skudin and their two sons were also hurt.

According to the lawsuit, their 10-year-old son was knocked unconscious and sustained multiple fractures to his spine and sternum.

The family's vehicle after it was struck by a falling tree at Biltmore Estates, killing Casey...
The family's vehicle after it was struck by a falling tree at Biltmore Estates, killing Casey Skudin.(Vincent Mediaworks)

In an interview with FOX Carolina’s Tori Carmen, Angela Skudin said a family in a vehicle behind theirs witnessed the incident and stopped to help pull their younger son out of the back window of the vehicle.

The lawsuit claims Biltmore, “knowingly and intentionally kept a massive, rotted tree on its property next to a main road where Defendants knew it would cause great harm when it fell.”

The tree was unstable and being held upright by cables, according to the lawsuit.

Rotting tree and memorial set up for Casey Skudin at Biltmore Estates.
Rotting tree and memorial set up for Casey Skudin at Biltmore Estates.(Vincent Mediaworks)

Biltmore Estates released the following statement:

“We received notification of a lawsuit filed by Arnold and Itkin Trial Lawyers on behalf of their clients, Angela Skudin and her two children. The complaint is regarding a tragic accident on our entrance road that resulted in fatal injuries to Ms. Skudin’s husband, Casey, and injuries to their son. A portion of a tree fell during a period of high winds and struck the guest’s vehicle as they entered the estate. There have been multiple eye witness accounts of a short duration high wind event around that time. There are no words to express our deep sorrow for the Skudin family’s unimaginable loss and we offer them our deepest sympathy.

We are preparing our answer to this lawsuit and will not provide further details while in litigation. We adamantly deny all allegations of willful or intentional conduct on the part of Biltmore, as well as the allegations of negligence. We will present all of the facts about this heartbreaking accident through the legal process.”

Angela Skudin said she is concerned about other trees she saw on the property and doesn’t want a tragedy like this to happen to any other families visiting Biltmore Estates.

More than one million people visit Biltmore Estates every year.