Donna Harris-Lewis to File Appeal

March 22, 2002

The widow of late Celtics captain Reggie Lewis plans to file by April 4 her appeal of a May 2000 jury verdict clearing Dr. Gilbert H. Mudge Jr. of negligence in her husband's death.

Lawyers for Donna Harris-Lewis will ask the state Appeals Court to grant them a third trial in her medical malpractice lawsuit against Mudge, Lewis's chief cardiologist. Harris-Lewis sued Mudge for failing to diagnose a lethal heart condition.

   She argues the judge in the second trial improperly let jurors hear testimony about Lewis's alleged drug abuse and insurance money his widow allegedly received, said her lawyer, Pamela Harris-Daley. The judge told jurors to disregard that information.

"You're not talking about one sentence the jury heard or even one witness's testimony the jury heard," Harris-Daley said. "I'm going to suggest there were multiple days of evidence with regard to the alleged drug use and Ms. Harris receiving alleged insurance proceeds. Had the jury not heard that evidence, it's likely they would have rendered a different verdict."

Meanwhile, lawyers for Mudge are appealing a Superior Court judge's decision to allow the Harris-Lewis appeal to go forward.

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