Andrew: How do you feel about today’s jury verdict?
Shanta:I’m very happy with the verdict. I’m thankful for the jurors. I’m thankful for God. I’m thankful for Mr. Howard, Clay, Louis and the rest of my team. Without them I don’t know who else who would have been able to take on the City and win. I’m just grateful and thankful!
Andrew: What does it mean to you that the jurors listened to your story? Not only believed you… but believed in you too?
Shanta: They are human too. I’m just glad that they heard me because for a while I felt like nobody was listening, that nobody heard me and that nobody cared but my team, my family and also you. I’m just thankful for them. Just thankful that they took the time out to listen to my story and hear what my life has been like for the past 3 years. It was hurtful and it was hard; but I did it every day with my family and my lawyers. We pushed and we pushed and we pushed and we succeeded. That is all I can say.
Andrew: Some people might focus on the $12 million jury verdict — but it isn’t about the money…
Shanta: No, it was never about the money. To me this was about how this changed my life. How a tree could be so dangerous, how it can hang over a street and the city not care about the people that are underneath it. They make it out as if it is our job to look up. We are supposed to look out for other cars, stop signs; we are not supposed to look out for a tree to cause an accident. So my main purpose was to have the City maintain all the trees in Savannah like downtown, so that everybody could be safe and happy. That is all I wanted — it was never about the money.
Andrew: Can you see what life might be like for you — and can you get past some of this?
Shanta: Yes I can, I still I have to get up every day. I still have to wake to what happened to me 3 years ago, but I think I can live a little better. I don’t have to worry about if my kids are going to be OK because I can’t work, or if we will be able to keep a roof over our house. My worries are gone. I’m just so thankful for all of these people. And I am thankful for you. You followed me from the beginning and I am thankful for that… I really am. You listened, you felt my pain just like the rest of my team and I am thankful. I am thankful for WSAV every day. I appreciate what you did for me and my cousin and how you shared my story.
Andrew: What would you say about the guys standing next to, and beside you — did they work hard for you?
Shanta: These are not just lawyers anymore, this is my family. I have grown to love these people. Three years spending almost every day with them. Pushing and pushing, these guys pushed and pushed. These guys told me every day “we are not giving up on you”. Even when I felt like we couldn’t take on the City. We probably sent a message, but I didn’t believe we could take it on. But I know my team believed because they pushed every day. They worked hard hours and weekends. I used to say “I’m at home and y’all out working on the weekend”. I am just so thankful for them and everybody else that helped at Spiva Law Group. These guys are great!
And if you need a lawyer to represent you, Spiva Law Firm is the best! Howard and Clay and the rest of the team… THEY WILL GET THE JOB DONE! — Shanta