Reggie Lewis’ Wife Can Continue Appeal Of Medical Malpractice Suit In Husband’s Death – Brief Article
The widow of former Boston Celtics captain and NBA all-star Reggie Lewis, Donna Harris-Lewis, will be able to continue her legal battle against the doctor who was caring for her husband when he died in 1993.
In mid-July, Judge Thayer Fremont-Smith dismissed Donna Harris-Lewis’ appeal in her malpractice suit against Dr. Gilbert Mudge.
However, Fremont-Smith recently defended his conduct in presiding over the trial, which ended in May with the jury clearing Mudge of negligence, but said Harris-Lewis had a right to appeal, and her failure to make certain deadlines to press her appeal didn’t constitute “inexcusable neglect.”
He noted that Harris-Lewis plans to claim in her appeal that the verdict was a product of racial prejudice and the jury was prejudiced by evidence of alleged cocaine abuse by her husband.
The case began on July 27, 1993, after Reggie Lewis, 27, collapsed and died while shooting baskets at Brandeis University. Donna Harris-Lewis’ original lawsuit charged that her husband’s treatment by Dr. Gilbert H. Mudge, Jr. and other cardiac specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital was “rendered carelessly, unskillfully and negligently” (JET, May 13, 1996).
A trial last year ended in a hung jury. A second trial cleared Mudge.
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