lung transplants

The story of Maria Huaman has set off a score of comments online, criticizing everything from Jackson Memorial Hospital to the organ transplant process.

Huaman died on Jan. 13 at West Kendall Baptist Hospital. According to Huaman's family, Maria was denied a transfer to Jackson for a lung transplant. Why she was denied comes from the family because the hospital has not spoken.

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A jury in Polk County has awarded $35 million in damages to a former Florida smoker who underwent two lung transplants.

The jury's decision Wednesday on behalf of 61-year-old Richard Boatright of Bartow against Philip Morris USA and the Liggett Group tobacco companies. The cigarette makers routinely appeal all such verdicts.

Attorney Sheldon Schlesinger says Boatright started smoking at age 12 and liked the cowboy used in Marlboro ads.

The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict.

While one Florida hospital has been approved for adult heart transplants, another is temporarily closing its lung-transplant program.