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

Delray Beach Vice Mayor Jim Chard stepping down to run for mayor
Delray Beach Vice Mayor Jim Chard stepping down to run for mayor

DELRAY BEACH — Vice Mayor Jim Chard, elected in March to a three-year term, will step down from the city commission to run for mayor in the upcoming municipal election. Chard, a retired business executive, filed paperwork Monday to run for mayor in the March 2018 election. He will submit a letter of resignation...
Ocean Ridge police warn residents after rash of car burglaries
Ocean Ridge police warn residents after rash of car burglaries

Town police officers are urging residents to lock their cars and keep valuables out of sight after a series of car burglaries happened this past weekend. Also, a car was stolen, according to a statement from police released Monday.  The vehicles were left unlocked. In some cases, valuables, garage door remotes and vehicle keys were left inside...
NEW: Former Florida teacher accused of giving student STD
NEW: Former Florida teacher accused of giving student STD

A former teacher in Central Florida was arrested on Saturday after accused of having a sexual relationship with a student for months, police said.  Alex Palomino, 27, faces charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, the Orlando Sentinel reports.  On Oct. 9, the father of the 17-year-old victim told police about the relationship when...
12-year-old girl accused of setting 10-year-old brother on fire
12-year-old girl accused of setting 10-year-old brother on fire

Police arrested a 12-year-old Alabama girl over the weekend after authorities said she set her younger brother on fire, according to multiple reports. Dothan police told WTVY that family members took the girl’s 10-year-old brother to the Southeast Alabama Medical Center on Friday night with serious burns on his body. Police investigator...
Men accused of pouring insecticide in Walmart toy department
Men accused of pouring insecticide in Walmart toy department

Two men are accused of pouring insecticide in the children's toy department of a Tennessee Walmart over the weekend, according to authorities. Millington police said the incident happened Sunday.  The men were seen on video "vandalizing property and intentionally spilling insecticide chemicals in the children's toy department,"...
More Stories