An Orwigsburg physician, who is a defendant in a malpractice case which began Moinday in the Schuylkill County court, suddenly took ill while seated at the counsel table listening to testimony Tuesday afternoon and was taken to the Schuylkill Medical Center.

Dr. Benjamin P. Darhun suddenly slumped over in his seat which caused the trial to stop. President Judge William E. Baldwin ordered the jury taken to the jury room and court attendants called the medics who arrived and administered first aid and took the doctor away.

The jury was called back and one more witness was allowed to testify, an actuary on behalf of the plaintiff. After his testimony was concluded Baldwin told the jury he did not know when the trial would resume depending on when the doctor could return to the courthouse to present his side of the story.

The suit against the doctor was brought by Robert Vaughn, of 712 Pine Circle, Pottsville, on behalf of his late wife, Kathleen. The suit alleges she died because of improper care by the doctor. She died on Nov. 28, 2004, at the age of 53.

In opening statements to the jury, Attorney Fred Fanelli, representing the Vaughns, told the jury she died because of improper care. Attorney Paul C. Troy, representing the doctor, said the defense will show that the doctor performed the proper procedure and there is no evidence as to the cause of death.