Posted on Jun 28, 2008

Woman wins more than $6 million in medical malpractice case

By Julie Manganis
Staff writer

SALEM — A woman who wanted to stop having to take heart medications so she could have another child, only to end up with permanent heart damage, has won a $4.3 million verdict in a lawsuit against two Boston doctors.

With interest, the total amount will be more than $6 million, said the woman's lawyer, Annette Gonthier-Kiely of Salem. It's one of the larger jury awards in a medical malpractice case in recent history. The jury returned its verdict Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court.

Amesbury native Denyse Richter was a 39-year-old mother of three who wanted to have a fourth child when, in 2002, she saw Dr. Laurence Epstein, chief of the arrhythmia service at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Epstein was a noted specialist in a procedure that used radio frequency catheter ablations — using high-frequency radio waves to burn away abnormal cells that were causing the arrhythmia.

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