updated 3/11/2008 9:00:33 AM ET 2008-03-11T13:00:33

A man has been awarded $40.1 million after his heart was damaged so badly by a malfunctioning machine during an operation that he had to undergo a heart transplant.

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Paramjit Singh, 54, also suffers other problems as a result of the injury and anti-rejection drugs he must take, his lawyers said. They had sought as much as $38 million.

Singh, of Mount Vernon, Wash., had checked into Providence Everett Medical Center in October 2004 for cardiac bypass surgery. Paul Luvera, one of his lawyers, said in a statement that a monitor manufactured by Edwards Lifesciences Corp. of Irvine, Calif., malfunctioned causing a catheter to overheat and burn his heart.

Monday's Superior Court jury award included $8.35 million in punitive damages.

"We do not believe the award of punitive damages will withstand the scrutiny of the higher court," Edwards Lifesciences said late Monday in an e-mailed statement. "This was the only reported injury related to millions of uses of this device and the problem that caused the issue has been rectified. While we are certainly sympathetic to Mr. Singh and believe he should be fairly compensated for his injury, the award of punitive damages is contrary to the facts and the law and we have strong grounds for appeal."

Edwards also had blamed Providence Everett Medical Center, saying it used a damaged cable.

The hospital said Edwards failed to disclose a problem with the monitor.

Five weeks of deliberations
The Snohomish County jury ordered Edwards to pay 99.99 percent of the damages to Singh and his family, leaving Providence responsible for .01 percent.

Edwards was also ordered to pay Providence $310,000 in damages.

The jury had been deliberating since last Tuesday after hearing five weeks of testimony and argument.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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