A state court has awarded a woman $12 million from the City of Savannah for injuries she suffered when a tree limb fell on her.
A Chatham County State Court jury said that the city should pay 31-year-old Shanta Greene for injuries she suffered in July 2010 when a tree limb fell on the truck she was riding in.
When the limb fell, it impaled Greene as she sat in the truck’s passenger seat. The woman lost her right leg and pelvis and she also suffered a brain injury.
The Savannah Morning News reported that the jury also awarded $20,000 to Greene’s cousin, who was driving the truck. The jury also awarded $10,000 to the man’s son, Xavier. Both suffered less serious injuries.
“I want to see the city get these trees in order. I want to see the city look like the downtown area. It’s a beautiful city and I love the trees but I love the safe trees, the ones that don’t hurt anybody,” Greene told WTOC-TV after the verdict.
The city’s attorney said it was clear that the woman’s injuries were accidental but said a jury shouldn’t award her millions of dollars in taxpayer money out of sympathy.
Greene’s attorney, Howard Spiva, said the city could have done more to prevent tree-related accidents, and urged the city to re-examine its tree maintenance procedures.
Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson told WTOC-TV that the city hasn’t decided whether to file an appeal.
“Our staff preserves these trees here in this community. We have 85,000 Live Oak trees. You never know when something like this can happen,” she said.