Gymnast lands major deal with insurers

Updated: 2011-07-12 11:23

By Chen Weihua and Liu Yuhan (

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Gymnast lands major deal with insurers
An elated Sang Lan at the press conference Monday afternoon in Hai Ming Law Firm in Flushing, Queens of New York City. [Photo by Chen Weihua/China Daily]

The compensation demanded is $100 million for each of the 18 claims filed ranging from breach of agreement, violation of various federal, state and city laws and insurance violations to defamation and negligence.

Additional charges were filed in mid May against Xue Weisen, son of the two guardians, for sexual harassment, Hugh Mo, the well-known Chinese-American lawyer representing the two guardian defendants and others. That brought the total compensation sought to $2.1 billion.

However, Hai withdrew the charge against Ted Turner on June 20, saying Turner as an individual has no legal responsibility for the case. On June 27, the civil complaint against Xue Weisen was also dropped. On June 28, lawsuit against Time Warner was dropped, reducing the total compensation sought to $1.7 billion.

Hai told reporters that so far 12 lawsuits are still filed against Hugh Mo, Liu Guosheng, Xie Xiaohong and 15 people who defamed Sang on the internet. The total compensation sought for the cases ranging from breach of contracts and invasion of privacy would reach $1.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Hugh Mo told China Daily that he would submit a motion of sanction against Hai Ming Tuesday. He already submitted motion to dismiss Hai's cases. Mo, who once held senior position in the New York City Police Department and New York District Attorney's Office, declined to elaborate on the cases.

But Hai described Mo's motions as having "zero chance of success," adding that Mo has not realized the magnitude of his mistakes.

Sang and her agent Huang Jian both thanked Hai Ming for the victory on Monday and described the spar between Huang and lawyer Hai Ming reported by the news media as the fashion of doing things between two Beijingers.

Asked how she felt about filing suits against her guardians and Hugh Mo, once a good friend, Sang said she was too young in those days and did not think too much. "I trust whatever they said (in those days)," she said.

"I was totally duped then and now I feel bitter. This lesson will help me become more mature," she said.

Sang, who arrived in New York about two weeks ago, said she plans to stay in the city for a total of two months.

Besides an expected meeting with the prosecutors in the coming days, she will spend time receiving treatment in the city's Mount Sinai from Kristjan Ragnarsson, the chief of rehabilitation in the hospital. Ragnarsson was the one who treated Sang after her injury in 1998.

After Sang's injury in 1998, celebrities such as former US President Jimmy Carter, actors Christopher Reeve, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jackie Chan and singer Celine Dion all visited her and gave her encouragement.

Back in China, people reacted differently to the case. Some expressed their support and sympathy while others accused Sang of being greedy in seeking compensation and ungrateful in suing people who claimed to have taken good care of Sang after the accident.

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