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Jury awards $792K to Howard Co. woman injured in '15 crash.

Byline: Heather Cobun

A Howard County jury awarded a woman nearly $800,000 last week for spinal injuries she sustained in a 2015 crash that left her with chronic pain.

Ryan Primrose, now 34, was the passenger in a van operated by CareMed Transportation of Baltimore LLC on July 13, 2015, when the driver hit a flatbed truck with its ramp down on the side of a road connecting Route 40 and Interstate 70, said Primrose's attorney, Jonathan S. Smith.

Smith said the van's right front wheel went up the truck's ramp, causing the van to become airborne and to crash down onto the top of the truck and roll before it landed on its wheels in the roadway. Calling the crash "an unfortunate, bizarre situation," Smith said it was "something like you'd see in a Hollywood special-effects movie."

Primrose was taken to the R. Adams Crowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center and required two spinal surgeries. She will have chronic pain for the rest of her life and will likely require additional surgery, according to Smith.

The jury deliberated for approximately 90 minutes before returning a verdict of $792,000, $312,000 in past and future medical expenses and $480,000 in noneconomic damages.

"(Primrose) wanted to have a jury decide her case and I think her instincts were right," Smith said. "She was extremely relieved and gratified at the jury's verdict."

The defendants CareMed and the driver did not dispute liability but did not agree that Primrose's pain stemmed from injuries sustained in the crash. Smith said his client experienced two falls after the accident, one that injured her neck and led to a third surgery and a second that hurt her back. The defendants also said they did not believe Primrose would need surgery in the future.

"Obviously, the jury agreed with us," Smith said.

The van had been transporting Primrose home from a methadone clinic, where she was nearing the end of treatment for an opioid addiction. She was placed on opioids again at Shock Trauma and went through methadone treatment once more to wean herself from the drugs.

However, Smith said Primrose found her pain so severe that she now cannot manage without opioid medication.

"You either avoid the addictive medicine and suffer excruciating pain or you re-expose yourself to the addiction in order to get relief from your pain," he said.

The defendants are represented by Andrew T. Stephenson and Thomas W. Morris of Franklin & Prokopik P.C. in Baltimore. On Wednesday, Morris said that the two were reviewing their options and that their client has not yet made a decision about a possible appeal.

Ryan H. Primrose v. CareMed Transportation of Baltimore LLC et al.

Court: Howard CountyCircuit

Case No.: 13-C-17-112600

Judge: John J. Kuchno

Proceeding: Jury trial

Outcome: Verdict for plaintiff,$112,000 in past medical expenses, $200,000 in future medical expenses, $480,000 in noneconomic damages.

Dates:

Incident:July 13, 2015

Suit filed: Aug. 29, 2017

Verdict:Feb. 15, 2019

Plaintiffs' Attorneys: Columbia solo practitioner Jonathan Scott Smith

Defendants' Attorneys: Andrew Stephenson and Thomas Morris of Franklin & Prokopik P.C. in Baltimore

Counts: Negligence

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Publication:Daily Record (Baltimore, MD)
Date:Feb 20, 2019
Words:537
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