City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

April 29, 2006

Baltimore: Courts

$11 million award in malpractice case

A Circuit Court jury awarded $11 million to the survivors of a 52-year-old woman who died after she was allegedly misdiagnosed at a Baltimore outpatient center of the University of Maryland Medical System, the family's lawyers said yesterday. According to plaintiff attorneys Thomas J. McNicholas and Robert E. Joyce, the patient, Pearline Brown, should have received an X-ray in March 2001 while she was in the care of UMMS. She died of cancer in March 2003. The award is expected to be reduced to about $1.5 because of caps in Maryland on medical malpractice awards, the attorneys said. The medical system plans to appeal the judgement and released a statement last night, saying in part that Brown "had four imaging tests and was evaluated by three different physicians at two hospitals, and none found any evidence of sarcoma."

Matthew Dolan

Woman gets 5 years in meth lab case

A Pennsylvania woman was sentenced in federal court in Baltimore yesterday to five years in prison for her role in a group that cooked up methamphetamine in rural locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Carol Ann Lee, 43, of Brogue, pleaded guilty on November 1 to conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Three of her co-defendants have already been sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to eight years. The raids of a rural farmhouse in Harford County and other remote areas in July raised concerns that the drug, which has been a problem throughout the Midwest, was moving east.

Matthew Dolan

NASA worker pleads guilty to theft

A NASA employee who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $250,000 by filing false bills with federal agencies was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison yesterday. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett ordered the prison term for Andrea D. Harrison, 38, formerly of Towson, followed by a year of home detention. Harrison, who worked in human resources at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, must also pay $247,284.48 in restitution. Her co-defendant in the scheme, Franklin G. Thomas, was employed by the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn. Thomas, 35, of Baltimore also pleaded guilty and received the same prison sentence in December.

Matthew Dolan

Downtown

Charles St. stretch to be closed

A two-block stretch of North Charles Street -- from Fayette to Saratoga streets -- will be closed from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. today so that construction workers can set up a crane, according to the Baltimore Department of Transportation. Traffic will be detoured west onto Fayette Street, north on Park Avenue, east on Saratoga Street and back onto Charles.

Child safety

Family Tree starts anti-abuse campaign

The Family Tree, a Baltimore nonprofit dedicated to preventing child abuse, has launched a campaign focusing on the effects of abuse. The campaign, begun April 12 encourages parents to seek help through the organization's 24-hour "StressLine" and classes. The group seeks sponsors to provide funds to continue the campaign, which is being conducted through broadcast and print outlets as well as on billboards and grocery store bags. The group is also seeking free air time. Information: 410-889-2300 or familytree md.org.

Lynn Anderson

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