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Jury Awards $911,373 in Cosmetic Surgery Death

August 19, 2000

VENTURA — A Ventura County jury Friday awarded nearly $1 million to the family of a 25-year-old Simi Valley woman who died after cosmetic surgery two years ago.

The jury ordered Westlake Village physician Theodore Ross Corwin and PSP Surgical Facility to pay $911,373 to the family for the wrongful death of Tania Pfefferman.

She died two weeks after receiving a breast augmentation and liposuction surgery in February 1998. The jury determined that negligence by the doctor and the medical facility led to her death.

The plaintiff's attorney, Fred Bysshe, had argued that Corwin did not respond to vital signs indicating that the patient's heart and lungs were not operating normally during and after the surgery. He said Pfefferman died from a fatal dose of local anesthetics.

Bysshe added that Pfefferman thought the risks of plastic surgery were negligible, "as safe as a trip to the beauty salon."

"We hope this verdict will say to the public that plastic surgery has some significant risks," he said.

Defense attorney Jon Monroy said he is confident the decision won't affect his client's reputation. Corwin was out of the state Friday and unavailable for comment.

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