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Published November 28, 2012, 08:54 AM

Alonna Norberg sues recently acquitted surgeon husband for malpractice

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Fargo pediatrician whose husband was recently cleared on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted her is suing him for medical malpractice.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Fargo pediatrician whose husband was recently cleared on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted her is suing him for medical malpractice.

Dr. Alonna Norberg filed a lawsuit against her estranged husband, Dr. Jon Norberg, in which she's seeking more than $50,000 for economic damages, including loss of income and employment, as well as damages for mental anguish, emotional distress and pain and suffering, The Forum newspaper reported.

The lawsuit was filed Friday, two days after a jury found Jon Norberg not guilty on criminal charges of gross sexual imposition and reckless endangerment following a trial that lasted nearly three weeks.

Jon Norberg said the lawsuit surprised him "after the evidence was brought forth the way that it was."

Alonna Norberg testified during the trial that her husband sexually assaulted her after injecting her with propofol, the powerful anesthetic that pop star Michael Jackson fatally overdosed on in 2009.

Jon Norberg, a surgeon, has maintained that his wife agreed to use the drug to relieve her chronic pain and help her sleep and that the sex was consensual. His attorneys said Alonna Norberg cooked up the rape claims to help her in her looming divorce and child custody case.

The Associated Press typically doesn't identify the alleged victims in cases that might be sexual assaults, but Alonna Norberg has spoken publically about the case several times.

The malpractice lawsuit claims propofol is not for home use, was not used on Alonna Norberg with proper monitoring or safety equipment and was dangerously mixed with other medications — allegations that also were raised in the criminal case. The lawsuit also alleges that Jon Norberg negligently failed to obtain proper consent from his wife before giving her the drug.

The lawsuit also names as defendants the surgery institute where Jon Norberg worked, one of its owners and a nurse at the institute, and a surgical center where her husband was a member. It says the defendants "did, could, or should have foreseen the risk of the potential harm caused by the unsupervised or unmonitored release of propofol and other dangerous drugs requiring a doctor's prescription for use."

Jon Norberg said he expects to employ a similar defense to the one he used at trial.

"She was aware of the risks, the benefits, she requested it, all the same stuff that we talked about during the trial," he said.

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