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Court ruling favors docs in malpractice case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled in favor of three doctors in a malpractice case.

The justices agreed with a lower court that the original verdict wasn’t tainted, either when jurors were told how much the patient’s widow had received in life-insurance benefits, or by modified jury instructions.

The doctors had diagnosed the patients’ chest pain in 2004 as due to muscular issues or heartburn. The man later died of severe heart disease. His family sued, and the doctors were cleared of negligence.

The family appealed, saying the court erred twice: in allowing the benefits as evidence, and in telling jurors they weren’t bound by any expert’s opinion except with regard to the standard of care exercised by medical doctors.

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday the errors were harmless.

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