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Weis won't appeal jury's verdict

Ex-Pats assistant says he'll 'move on'

Charlie Weis, shown on the stand Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court, said he won't appeal the jury's verdict that cleared doctors of malpractice in his gastric bypass surgery in 2002. Weis, former Patriots assistant coach, said had he won, he would have donated any damages to a charity for people with special needs. 'Our family decided to retry this case based on principle, not money,' he said. Charlie Weis, shown on the stand Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court, said he won't appeal the jury's verdict that cleared doctors of malpractice in his gastric bypass surgery in 2002. Weis, former Patriots assistant coach, said had he won, he would have donated any damages to a charity for people with special needs. "Our family decided to retry this case based on principle, not money," he said. (TED FITZGERALD/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said yesterday he will not appeal a Suffolk Superior Court jury's verdict that cleared two surgeons from Massachusetts General Hospital this week of misconduct in his medical-malpractice lawsuit.

Weis, now head coach at Notre Dame, alleged that Charles Ferguson, director of Mass. General's surgical-residency program, and Richard Hodin, a gastrointestinal surgeon and professor at Harvard Medical School, botched his gastric bypass surgery in June 2002.

Weis, 51, who became ill after the operation, said the surgeons were negligent for letting him bleed internally for 30 hours before they started a second surgery to respond to the complication.

In a statement yesterday, he said "it is time to move on," but said he hoped his case raises awareness for "those with major physical problems."

He added: "In my case, obesity nearly led to death. Corrective major surgery always has risks, but a patient should never be viewed as the bad guy when problems occur that could be prevented. Never let doctors blame you for having elective surgery as they get paid handsomely and have the right to refuse."

Weis also accused jurors of growing "tired and bored" through the trial. "I realized victory was a long shot but was still surprised with the verdict," he said.

It was the second time the case had gone to trial. In February, a judge declared a mistrial after Ferguson and Hodin helped a juror who collapsed in the courtroom.

"After the mistrial, it would have been easy to simply let the malpractice lawsuit fade away," Weis said in the statement.

"We decided that for all people who are frowned upon by prejudice or bias, we had to take this case to closure."

He said had he won, he would have donated any damages to a charity for people with special needs.

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