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Lawyers for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania again denied any wrongdoing in College sophomore Anne Ryan's meningitis death last September.

Jed Ryan, the brother of Anne Ryan, filed a lawsuit against HUP in January alleging negligence, wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The latest motion filed by HUP's lawyers denies any negligence by its emergency-room doctors, radiologists and others implicated in Anne Ryan's care, saying that the medical record shows that all tests and procedures were performed in accordance with industry standards.

The response also denies more-specific legal details, such as the Ryan family lawyers' description of the legal relationship between HUP and the University of Pennsylvania Health System and the specific titles of various clinics within HUP itself.

The response furthermore claims that the Ryans failed to initiate the suit within the statute of limitations and that Pennsylvania laws governing medical malpractice negate the lawsuit's claims.

The Pennsylvania statute of limitations to file lawsuits alleging medical malpractice in cases resulting in death is two years.

However, HUP's response is not unexpected - it is standard legal practice to state every theoretical possible defense before the trial begins in order to lay the foundation for any legal argument that lawyers may want to pursue.

Lawyers for HUP and for the Ryan family were unavailable for comment yesterday. Lawyers for the Ryan family have previously declined to comment while the case is still in litigation.

A trial date has tentatively been set for early 2009.

Lawyers for the Ryan family filed an amended complaint last month that dropped the punitive damages they had originally demanded.

Ryan was initially treated for dehydration and flu-like symptoms in HUP's emergency room and sent home. She returned several days later with much worse symptoms and passed away shortly thereafter.

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