breaking news

West Palm to remove Confederate monument; ‘We lost our patience’

Juror holdout causes mistrial in malpractice case against St. Mary’s


The qualms of one juror blocked what could have been an “eight-figure” verdict for a former Wellington woman who has been in a permanent vegetative state since being treated at St. Mary’s Medical Center four years ago, an attorney for her family said Thursday.

After a mistrial was declared last week in the multi-million medical malpractice case against the West Palm Beach hospital, four of the six jurors agreed to meet with the lawyers, said attorney Philip Gold, who represents 65-year-old Kwai Ling Chan-Leung’s ex-husband, who is also her guardian.

One juror admitted he refused to join the five others who agreed to a multi-million-dollar verdict against the hospital, Gold said. The lone holdout said he didn’t think either side had proven exactly what caused Chan-Leung’s catastrophic injuries, the lawyer said.

During the roughly three-week trial, Gold argued that the hospital didn’t have the proper equipment on hand when Chan-Leung was rushed into surgery in March 2013. She was brought to St. Mary’s in critical condition from Jupiter Medical Center after officials there agreed they were ill-equipped to deal with her brain hemorrhage.

Attorney Michael Mittlemark, who represents the hospital, argued that Chan-Leung’s condition was grave when she arrived at St. Mary’s. In court papers, he said doctors warned her family there was a 50 percent chance she would die in surgery and an 80 percent chance she would be left in a vegetative state. Despite the odds, family members insisted they wanted doctors to try to save her, Mittlemark said.

Pui Leung Chan, who was married to Chan-Leung, told the jury that the family was never given such a grim prognosis, Gold said. Had the hospital had the proper equipment, it could have stopped Chan-Leung from losing a liter of blood during surgery, he said. The massive blood loss caused “a cascade of events” that left Chan-Leung in a permanent vegetative state.

Gold asked the jury to award $3.5 million to $11.5 million so Chan could care for his ex-wife at home. She now lives at long-term nursing home in Queens, N.Y. He suggested the jury also award a similar amount, or even twice as much, for pain and suffering.

While a settlement could be reached, Gold said he is prepared to take the case to trial again.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Florida woman admits showing pornography to child
Florida woman admits showing pornography to child

A Florida woman is accused of showing pornography to children. Police say Brianna Ricks, 19, of Alachua County showed pornographic images on her cellphone to children between the ages on 9 and 17, according to the Gainesville Sun. When confronted by authorities, Ricks admitted that she showed the video and photos, which came from social media...
Racegoer turns 40-cent bet into $259,573 at Florida track
Racegoer turns 40-cent bet into $259,573 at Florida track

A racegoer who placed a 40-cent bet at a Florida racetrack was rewarded with a $259,573.34 payoff. The unidentified person bought a ticket that includes six numbers, which represent a horse in each of the final six races of the day at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, according to the Orlando Sentinel. All six horses on the ticket won their races...
LATEST: Jupiter road-rage suspect tells FHP shooting pickup was ‘stupid’
LATEST: Jupiter road-rage suspect tells FHP shooting pickup was ‘stupid’

Michael Shepherd knew shooting into a pickup on Interstate 95 was “stupid.” But the 49-year-old was in a “cat and mouse game” with John Trevor Whiting early Friday and wanted Whiting in his Chevrolet pickup to back off, the Jupiter man told Florida Highway Patrol investigators. So Shepherd “fire(d) a shot across his...
LATEST: Florida police officers stop to play ball after responding to call
LATEST: Florida police officers stop to play ball after responding to call

As football season approaches, two police officers in Orlando were able to break out their football skills after responding to a call. The Orlando Police Department shared photographs on Facebook of two officers playing football with a child. The officers had just finished handling a call when they spotted the child playing football in the street...
NEW: South Florida woman points gun at family in latest road rage incident 
NEW: South Florida woman points gun at family in latest road rage incident 

A Florida woman was arrested after she pointed a gun at a family late Saturday night.  Christina Bonner, 29, of Northeast Miami-Dade, had a child and another passenger in the car when she started tailgating a man on U.S. 1 in Key Largo, according to the Miami Herald.  As she passed him, Bonner then pointed a gun at the 44-year-old North...
More Stories