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SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND, July 13, 2001: A 34-year-old Hindu woman has won $US$5,640 in damages after surgeons used cow cartilage in her operation. The educational administrator said she would have never consented to the operation if she had known doctors were going to use parts of the cow, which is sacred to her religion. The woman, who has not been named, has fought a six-year battle to get the out-of-court settlement. The surgery was performed by Dr. Leo Strassen at Sunderland General Hospital to correct a lump on the woman's nose. Following the operation she was in severe pain and had trouble breathing. When she sought legal advice, she got access to her records and discovered the use of cow cartilage. She now plans to have the cartilage removed and faces an $15,510 bill. The City Hospitals Sunderland said that the payment had been made with no admission of liability, but it expressed sympathy for any discomfort faced by the woman, who now lives in London.