The award, which included $15 million in punitive damages, had been appealed by Richard P. Glunk, a plastic surgeon in King of Prussia, Pa., The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday.
Amy Fledderman, an 18-year-old Pennsylvania State freshman, died on May 25, 2001, two days after she suffered complications during surgery at Glunk's office to remove fat from her stomach and chin.
A three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld an award of $2 million in damages to Fledderman's mother, Colleen, for the emotional distress of watching helpless as Glunk refused to send her daughter to a hospital for 2-1/2 hours.
It also held that the $15 million in punitive damages was not excessive.
"Dr. Glunk ignored both the warning signs of a medical emergency and a mother's desperate pleas for transfer to a hospital," the appeals court opinion said.
The court also agreed evidence Glunk's facility was not properly licensed had been properly introduced.
It was not clear whether Glunk and a co-defendant, the nurse anesthetist who assisted Glunk, would appeal to the state Supreme Court, the Inquirer said.