Exchange on woman's lost leg gets heated at Savannah City Council
By Lesley Conn
Attorney Howard Spiva had a combative exchange with Savannah City Council in a morning workshop.
Spiva is representing Shante Greene, a Savannah woman who lost her right leg and had other crushing injuries after a massive tree limb crushed a pickup in which she was a passenger.
The accident happened July 2, 2010. The tree is city maintained. City Risk Management denied an initial claim.
Spiva was granted an audience before council, as any citizen with a petition for damages is allowed, but halfway through, Mayor Otis Johnson stopped Spiva to seek an opinion from City Attorney James Blackburn.
"This is much different than I thought we were giving the privilege to present," he said.
On Blackburn's advice, and with insistence from Spiva, council heard the rest of the presentation.
They offered no comment, and when Greene was wheeled into the room, council was clearly uncertain about whether to acknowledge her. Alderwoman Mary Osborne stepped forward and a couple other mumbled sympathies.
"I went in there as the victim" said Greene, who turns 30 in December. "I felt like the enemy."
For more on this story, read Friday's Savannah Morning News or savannahnow.com.