A federal judge has awarded more than $17.5 million in a medical malpractice suit against the Veterans Administration brought by a former Marine who suffered a disabling stroke after a dental procedure in which his blood pressure had dropped precipitously several times.

Plaintiff Christopher Ellison suffered extensive brain damage because he had the stroke in his car, just a few blocks from the dentist’s office, but was not found for several hours. The suit alleges that the dental procedure should have been aborted because of the seriousness of Ellison’s symptoms and that he should have been monitored for several hours rather than discharged.