Vermont Crash Victim’s $21 Million Award Among Largest Ever in State

September 4, 2007

A Windsor County, Vermont man who was permanently injured in a car accident two years ago has been awarded $21 million, one of the largest lawsuit awards in the state’s history.

It’s unclear yet how much of the money awarded for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering he will collect.

Ralph Currier, 21, was a passenger in a car driven by Taylor Quinn of Woodstock in September 2005 when, traveling at speeds of 100 miles per hour, the vehicle went off the road and plowed into house and veterinary clinic.

Currier, who lives on the border of Woodstock and Bridgewater, was severely injured and may have to live the rest of his life as a quadriplegic.

“Virtually all of his basic needs must be met by others,” Judge Theresa DiMauro wrote in her ruling Friday.

Currier filed suit against Quinn’s mother, Suzanne Schipper, for “negligent entrustment” of the car to Quinn.

Quinn served 10 months in prison for gross negligent operation of a vehicle with serious bodily injury resulting, said Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sand said.

“Her car ended up in the living room of a home, having traveled well in excess of 100 miles an hour,” Sand said. “She turned her car into a rocket and launched it into a house.”

Robert Reis, the Rutland defense attorney in the case, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Saturday.

The award was broken down into nearly $1 million owed for medical care; $15 million for future medical care; nearly $1 million for wages Currier will not earn; and $5 million for pain and suffering.

“The daily physical pain he experiences is regulated by several prescription medications, including Percocet and Oxycontin. The emotional pain cannot be controlled by medication. This previously robust, able-bodied 18-year-old is now confined to a wheelchair,” DiMauro wrote.

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