Juror's collapse leads to mistrial in Weis case

BOSTON -- A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in a medical
malpractice case brought by Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis
after a juror collapsed and several doctors -- including the two
defendants -- rushed to his aid.

The juror, an unidentified older man, began moaning as he
listened to an expert testifying in defense of Massachusetts
General Hospital surgeons Charles Ferguson and Richard Hodin. Weis
claims they botched his care after gastric bypass surgery in June

The judge immediately ordered the other jurors out of the
courtroom, but some saw Ferguson, Hodin and other doctors who were
in the courtroom rush to the juror's aid.

An attorney for Weis said it was with "great reluctance" that
he ask for the mistrial in the case that was expected to go to the
jury Wednesday.

"I cannot think of an instance there would be more reason then
when a juror has this kind of incident," attorney Michael Mone
said, noting some jurors had seen the doctors attending to the

A lawyer for the doctors said a mistrial would be unfair to the
surgeons, who had rearranged their schedules to accommodate Weis,
who is in the offseason for football.

Judge Charles Spurlock, however, agreed that a mistrial was

"The integrity of the court is more important than schedules,"
Spurlock said.

The juror collapsed while listening to the testimony of Dr.
David Brooks, an expert who was saying the doctors acted
responsibly in their treatment of Weis.

Spectators were ordered out of the courtroom shortly after the
man fell ill. He was taken away in an ambulance; his condition and
identity were not immediately known.

Weis accuses Ferguson and Hodin of acting negligently by failing
to recognize life-threatening internal bleeding and infection after
his surgery.

The trial, which featured testimony from Patriots quarterback
Tom Brady, was entering its second week.

Spurlock consulted with both sets of lawyers and spoke to the
jurors after the man fell ill. One juror said he did not know if he
could put the incident out of his mind in his deliberations.

William Dailey Jr., the lawyer for the doctors, said he wanted
the trial to go on, saying a mistrial "would be terribly unfair to
these doctors."

"They responded the way they were trained to do," he said.
"They simply stood up and tried to help."

Dailey said he thought the case was going well.

"We were confident and were very optimistic there was going to
be a good result and that there would be no negligence found," he

Mone said Weis wanted to move forward with the case, which could
take months to reschedule.

"Mr. Weis is committed for this case to be tried to a
conclusion," the lawyer said.