City to Pay $9.5 Million After Woman was Hit by Falling Tree

31-year-old Shanta Greene received a $9.5 million settlement from the city of Savannah, Georgia after the two sides came to an agreement.

In July 2010, Greene was severely injured when a live oak tree limb fell, impaling her in the passenger seat of a pick-up truck along Bee Road in Savannah. Greene’s cousin and his child were also in the truck with her.  Greene had to have her right leg amputated, suffered several physical injuries, as well as a brain injury.

The victim claimed that the city was negligent in caring for the tree, while the city claimed it was an “Act of God” and there was no evidence the limb was in danger of falling. Greene believes that the city’s Park and Tree Department knew or should have known of potential danger the tree could cause but did not respond properly, citing a 2007 incident in which the tree dropped a limb.

A Chatham County State Court jury sided with Greene and awarded her $12 million for her injuries. The city of Savannah appealed the award, but then reached a $9.5 million settlement with Greene. Savannah City Council gave final approval.

The jury also awarded $20,000 to Greene’s cousin, Louis Anderson, who was driving the truck, and $10,000 to his son, Xavier Anderson, 9. Both suffered lesser injuries.

Who do you think pays for a settlement when the federal, state, or local government is involved? The taxpayers cover the damages award.

The city was afraid an appeal would bring another trial, costing the taxpayers even millions more. The city plans to borrow money from itself to immediately issue payment to Greene. The city received approval from an outside auditing agency to use a 10-year plan to reimburse itself.

Do you think this was a fair settlement for Shanta Greene who lost her leg?

Feel free to comment on this blog post. For more information contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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