What a nightmare! How a pedicure led to a woman's leg getting amputated

How did one small infection lead to the amputation of an entire limb?

 A woman's feet after a pedicure (Illustrative) (photo credit: WALLPAPER FLARE)
A woman's feet after a pedicure (Illustrative)
(photo credit: WALLPAPER FLARE)

A pedicure is one of the most popular treatments for women and men. One pedicure at a US salon caused medical complications, which led to the amputation of a woman's leg, and she eventually received compensation of almost $2 million. What exactly happened there?

Pedicures are simple and common but complications can happen. A Florida woman was forced to undergo amputation due to a serious infection after a pedicure. Now, three years later, she was just compensated $1.75 million.

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 the infection spread rapidly in her body, in part because Shellman has severe peripheral arterial disease, a condition that causes blood vessels to narrow and reduce blood flow to the limbs.

Shellman, 55, also lost her home after medical expenses as a result of the amputation overwhelmed her. She needed help taking care of herself and now she lives with relatives, Paul Fulmer, her lawyer, told the Times.

Court documents show that the settlement was reached on December 16, 2021. The documents didn’t specify the amount of the settlement, but Fulmer revealed the amount to the Times. "She was stunned, shocked, crying and giddy, all at once,'' said her lawyer.

According to the lawsuit filed in May 2020, the salon worker used tools and equipment that were so dirty that they posed a danger to customers, a claim the business initially denied.  The lawsuit alleged the company didn’t follow its own policies, didn’t train its employees properly and kept the equipment in poor condition.

The salon alleges in response to the lawsuit that Shellman is accused of not seeking immediate medical attention or taking reasonable measures to prevent the development of an infection. Fulmer said he and his client were surprised that the salon agreed to the full settlement due to her medical history. 

He said they would have been happy with half of what they received.