updated 12/5/2007 9:33:59 AM ET 2007-12-05T14:33:59

A court on Wednesday awarded $11,000 to a woman who said she woke up during major abdominal surgery but was unable to tell doctors she was in terrible pain.

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The 62-year-old retiree in the southern Austrian province of Carinthia had demanded more than $57,000 in compensation for mental and physical suffering during the October 2002 operation, public broadcaster ORF reported.

The court rejected that amount, saying there was ruling insufficient proof that the unidentified woman regained full consciousness. It threw out her claim of malpractice.

Her lawyer had argued that the anesthesiologist forgot to attach a tube through which the patient was to be kept under sedation. The woman testified she could feel the surgeons using a scalpel and other instruments on her, but was unable to speak or move.

Wednesday’s ruling ended a three-year legal battle.

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