City of Savannah considering appealing tree civil lawsuit - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

City of Savannah considering appealing tree limb lawsuit

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Shanta Greene Shanta Greene
City Attorney Brooks Stillwell City Attorney Brooks Stillwell

A jury reached a verdict Thursday in the case of a woman injured in 2010 when a tree fell on her.

Shanta Greene was awarded $12 million in damages in the tree injury civil lawsuit against the City of Savannah. Greene's cousin Louis Anderson was awarded $20,000 and his son Xavier was awarded $10,000.

The big question on everyone's mind: Will the city appeal the verdict?

City Attorney Brooks Stillwell said that decision is up to the mayor and city council, and they'll take it up at their next meeting.

If they decide to appeal, Stillwell plans to focus that appeal on the city's soverign immunity, a set of Georgia laws that protect cities from certain types of lawsuits. Stillwell thinks those laws apply to this case and believes that evidence shows the city had no way to know that anything was wrong with the tree.

He said the city sympathizes with Ms. Greene but there's no way this could have been prevented.

"We are very sympathetic to Ms. Greene as we've indicated all along but the city felt the falling limb was simply an accident. City taxpayers should not be liable for it," said Stillwell.

Stillwell says he will meet with the mayor and city council within the next few weeks to decide what's next.

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