FAYETTEVILLE — A former Fayetteville surgeon has been ordered to pay more than $6 million in a malpractice lawsuit
The lawsuit said Geraldine Nicholson of Lumber Bridge died in October 2006 after spending nearly a year in the hospital with complications after surgery to remove cancerous tissue in her rectum and colon.
According to the lawsuit, Dr. Arleen Kaye Thom left a surgical sponge in Nicholson's abdomen that wasn't discovered until 10 weeks after initial surgery. A family attorney said the 18-by-18-inch sponge caused infections and illness that prevented Nicholson from receiving cancer treatments.
A Robeson County jury on Oct. 10 ordered Thom to pay nearly $5.1 million to Nicholson's estate and $750,000 to Nicholson's husband.
A telephone listing for Thom couldn't be found Wednesday.