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‘Crying and Giddy, All at the Same Time’: Florida Woman Awarded $1.75 Million After Losing Her Lower Leg to Blood Infection Caused by Bad Pedicure

Attorneys for Clara Shellman have settled with a Florida nail salon after they claimed she was cut by one of the nail technicians during a pedicure service which later led her to get an infection that resulted in her having to get her left lower leg amputated

The incident occurred in September 2018 when Shellman visited Tammy’s Nails 2 on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa, when Shellman said an employee from the shop cut her toe while giving her a pedicure. The woman said her toe later became infected because the tools were dirty, the Tampa Bay Times reported. 

Paul Fulmer, a lawyer from the Morgan & Morgan firm representing Shellman, noted that due to the woman’s severe peripheral arterial disease — a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs — the infection spread to her entire lower leg and “quickly.”  According to the Cleveland Clinic, the disease exacerbates injuries to the extremities. 

Shellman accused the establishment of improperly sanitizing the equipment, which led to the infection. She ultimately had to have her leg amputated from the knee down.

In the suit initially filed in May 2020, the now-55-year-old woman claimed the salon’s tools were filthy and that the company did not follow its policies nor properly train its staff members. The suit was settled this month.

The salon denied claims their equipment was dirty and blamed Shellman, citing that the amputation was due to her lack of urgency to seek medical attention or “take reasonable efforts to prevent the development of infection.”

Fulmer told the news station that, “While no amount of money can truly make up for such a life-altering injury, I’m happy that this settlement will compensate her for a world of pain and suffering that wasn’t her fault.”

The unexpected incident left the mother drowning in medical expenses from the surgery; she reportedly lost her house during that period. Left unable to walk, she needed assistance and resorted to living with her family. 

Fulmer said his client is “stunned, shocked, crying and giddy, all at the same time.” Elsewhere he added, “There could have been a very strong argument from the defense with this. We would have been happy with at least half what we received.”

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