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DOCTOR SETTLES AIDS SUIT FOR $6 MILLION

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An AIDS suit that resulted in a $28.7 million jury verdict against a Phoenix doctor in June has been settled for $6 million, the doctor's attorney announced Thursday.

The settlement was negotiated as Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla, his clinic Neonatology Associates and insurance carrier were in the process of appealing the jury verdict, believed to be the largest ever in AIDS litigation in the United States.The family of Alex Edwards sued Kuruvilla and Neonatology Associates, claiming that Alex contracted acquired immune deficiency syndrome from a 1985 blood transfusion when he was 2 days old.

Brian Michael Goodwin, the attorney for Neonatology Associates, said the settlement calls for Mutual Insurance Co. of Arizona to pay Alex Edwards and his parents, Roy and Patricia Edwards, $6 million in cash and provide funds to ensure medical care for Alex for the rest of his life.

According to the Edwards family's suit, Kuruvilla ordered a blood transfusion for Alex while treating him in 1985 for birth-associated respiratory problems. The child was diagnosed as having AIDS in 1987.

Kuruvilla's attorneys maintained there was no known test in 1985 to detect the AIDS virus in blood supplies and that Kuruvilla followed the accepted standard of medical care at that time.

"This settlement in no way represents an admission of guilt by Abe Kuruvilla or Neonatology Associates but is a step that will allow Dr. Kuruvilla to continue caring for his patients and the Edwards family to care for Alex in a comfortable manner," said Goodwin.