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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mass. General surgeons win suit brought by Notre Dame coach

A jury today found in favor of two Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons who had been sued for malpractice by University of Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis, who bled internally after gastric bypass surgery five years ago.

The Suffolk Superior Court jury found that surgeons Charles Ferguson and Richard Hodin were not negligent in their care of Weis, former offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots who nearly died after the 2002 obesity surgery and testified that he still has difficulty walking.

Internal bleeding is a known complication of gastric bypass surgery, and the doctors argued that they waited to perform a second operation to stop the bleeding because they thought it would stop on its own and were concerned about risks of further surgery.

The first trial of the malpractice suit ended dramatically in a mistrial in February, after the surgeons rushed to the aid of a juror who had collapsed in the courtroom.

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