Cook County jury awards more than $4 million to family of stroke victim

 
 
Updated 7/19/2017 7:57 PM
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A Cook County jury awarded $4.1 million to the family of a Schaumburg woman who suffered a stroke while recuperating from a hip fracture at a Bartlett nursing facility and died four years later.

In their wrongful-death lawsuit, the family of Dolores Trendel claimed employees at Clare Oaks failed to administer the blood thinner ordered by Trendel's doctor to prevent a stroke. The verdict was returned Monday, according to a news release from the Chicago law firm of Levin & Perconti.

Clare Oaks CEO Beth Welch expressed sympathy for the Trendel family's loss.

"We hope the outcome of this trial affords the Trendel family an opportunity to heal," said Welch.

On Feb. 23, 2011, Trendel, then 85, was transferred from the St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates to Clare Oaks for physical therapy, which she required after fracturing her hip in a fall.

According to the release, a Clare Oaks blood test on March 16, 2011, showed Trendel required more Coumadin to thin her blood and prevent clotting and a stroke. Instead, employees discontinued her Coumadin for 14 days without her physician's approval, according to Trendel family attorneys. Attorneys said Clare Oaks employees failed to detect their error despite procedures that called for a "daily audit of all patients' medication administration needs."

On March 30, 2011, after Trendel displayed strokelike symptoms, she was sent to St. Alexius, where doctors determined she had suffered a stroke. The stroke caused weakness on the right side of Trendel's body, diminishing her quality of life. She died four years later at 89.

According to the release, Trendel's physician, Percival Bigol, denied he discontinued her medication. Jurors found him not liable for her death.

A 2013 investigation by the Illinois Department of Public Health found "no fault for Clare Oaks," which opened in 2008 and was awarded a five-star rating by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2013. The facility offers independent, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care for short-term rehabilitation.

"We're proud of our care and services," said Welch. "We've helped more than 3,000 seniors admitted for rehab and other skilled nursing care get well and go home."

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