A lawyer says the family of a 40-year-old woman who died after receiving experimental cancer drugs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been awarded $13.5 million in a lawsuit.

Robert Higgins, a lawyer for the family of Amy Altman of Hopkinton, tells The Boston Globe that a Suffolk Superior Court jury decided Wednesday that her death could have been prevented if doctors had investigated the cause of chronic diarrhea that surfaced during treatment for a tumor behind her knee.

The jury deliberated for nine hours before awarding $9.4 million plus interest in the July 2003 death.

Dana-Farber officials said in a statement that "we strongly disagree with this verdict and firmly believe that the physicians involved provided a high standard of care."