TAMPA, Fla. – A Florida woman whose leg had to be amputated because of an infection after a pedicure has reached a $1.75 million settlement with the nail salon, her attorney said.
An employee at Tammy’s Nails 2 in Tampa cut Clara Shellman’s foot during a pedicure in September 2018, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The cut became infected and spread quickly, partly because Shellman had severe peripheral arterial disease, a circulatory condition that causes narrowed blood vessels to reduce blood flow to the limbs, the newspaper said.
Shellman, 55, lost her home after being burdened by medical expenses from the amputation, the newspaper quoted her lawyer, Paul Fulmer, as saying. She needed help caring for herself and now is living with relatives, Fulmer said.
Court documents indicate the settlement was reached Dec. 16. The documents didn’t list the amount of the settlement, but Fulmer disclosed the amount to the Times.
“She was stunned, shocked, crying and giddy, all at the same time,” Fulmer said.
According to the lawsuit filed in May 2020, the salon worker used tools and equipment that were so dirty they posed a danger to customers, a claim the business initially denied. The lawsuit claimed the company failed to follow its own policies, train its workers and properly maintain equipment.
Tammy’s Nails 2 said in an answer to the lawsuit, filed a month later, that Shellman was at fault because she didn’t immediately seek medical care or “take reasonable efforts to prevent the development of infection.”
Fulmer said he and his client were surprised the salon agreed to the full settlement because of Shellman’s preexisting condition.
“There could have been a very strong argument from the defense with this,” Fulmer said. “We would have been happy with at least half what we received.”