$1.6M awarded to heart attack victim's widow

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The New Haven Register

June 19, 2001

NEW HAVEN, CT — A Superior Court jury Monday awarded Kittie LaBanca of North Haven $1.6 million in her lawsuit against a Hamden doctor and medical firm for mistreatment that purportedly led to the death of her husband, John LaBanca.

According to the writ, LaBanca suffered "severe, painful and permanent injuries, culminating in his death" May 7, 1994 because of the "carelessness and negligence" of Hamden Internal Medical Associates and its physician, Dr. Charles Rethy.

The writ stated the defendants failed to consult with cardiologists regarding LaBanca's case and failed to diagnose and treat him for coronary artery disease.

In 1989, an electrocardiogram showed LaBanca had abnormalities, according to his widow's attorney, James Horwitz of Bridgeport.

"He (LaBanca) should've been fully informed of this and of the implications," Horwitz said.

"The jury found he was not fully informed of his cardiac abnormality."

As a result, the writ said, LaBanca suffered a fatal heart attack.

The attorney for the defendants could not be reached for comment.