A Time for Justice. The City of Savannah Should Honor Their Word and Not Appeal.
CITY’S COMMENTS IN THE NEWS:
The City stated:
“A court could find that a new trial is warranted because of various errors that were made during the trial, the court could affirm the verdict, or the court could reverse and find that the judge should have granted summary judgment to the defense.”
Our response is as follow:
1. “New trial is warranted because of various errors.”
We respectfully submit that there was no reversible error in the trial. Issues for appeal will be significantly limited because a “Directed Verdict” motion” was not raised at either the close of plaintiff’s case or when the defendants rested.
Others possible issues were also waived when no motion for JNOV was made after the jury verdict.
In any event, none of the video depositions or the photos of the decay in this tree will change. We have witnesses that couldn’t make it to trial the first time.
There is always the possibility that we may obtain an even higher verdict and as such could receive pre-judgment interest of over $1.3M.
2. “The court could reverse and find that the judge should have granted summary judgment to the defense.”
We respectfully submit that the issue of MSJ went away once the trial started.
3. “Appeal based on “immunity”.
Respectfully, there is no immunity for maintaining a nuisance. Under a negligence claim there is no immunity for ministerial duties.
Shanta Greene has been turned away for 3 years. Repeatedly the attorney hired by the City on this case has told us that the City Council will pay when a jury tells them to. Well the jury has spoken. Can my client believe nothing that the City tells her?
COSTS OF APPEAL:
If the City pursues an appeal and it fails as expected, interest will have accrued at a rate of $65,000.00 per month during the pendency of the appeal. An appeal is likely to encompass 18 to 24 months. The accrued, post-judgment interest would add between $1,117,000.00 and $1,560,000.00 to the sum owed my clients.
We suspect there will also be the costs of a supersedeas bond required, resulting in additional spending of tax payers money.
THE BATTLE AHEAD:
We have battled with the City for 3 years.
It has been a long hard fought battle and Shanta Green and her legal team are gearing up for the next phase. We are preparing several motions seeking costs and sanctions against the City.
The Judge asked the parties to submit stipulations. We prepared admissions that were taken directly from defendant’s employees and expert depositions. They were denied by the City. We added several days to trial to prove each of these admissions. We will seek substantial cost for those.
We also believe that serious error was made in the case, violating pre-trial orders, during closing arguments. We will seek sanction on that as well.
We made the City a generous offer to re-hire Don Gardner. If the City doesn’t do something soon trees will continue to fail and people will be injured.
The time has come for the City to honor their word and pay their bill.
Howard E. Spiva