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Fargo surgeon accused of malpractice in federal suit

FARGO – A Fargo surgeon and the head of the department of surgery at the University of North Dakota medical school is being accused of malpractice.

Gina and Jason Bowles filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Dr. Robert Sticca. They claim that Sticca removed the wrong rib from Gina Bowles in a surgery on Feb. 28, 2013, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

The suit claims that Gina Bowles needed additional surgery to remove the correct rib and that resulted in “pain, suffering, disability and emotional distress.” They’re seeking $75,000 in damages.  

Jason Bowles is listed as a plaintiff because he has been “deprived of (Gina’s) care, comfort, companionship and services” due to her injuries, the complaint states.

Sticca is listed on Sanford’s website as a surgeon specializing in oncologic surgery. He is also the chairman and program director of the department of surgery at UND. He was the highest-paid public employee in North Dakota from June 2012 through May 2013, earning $758,128 during the 12-month period, according to a report last year by The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.

The Bowleses are being represented by Reed Mackenzie of Mackenzie Law Office in Minneapolis and Thomas Omdahl of Omdahl Law Office in Grand Forks, according to online federal court records. No attorney was listed for Sticca on Saturday night.

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