On July 18, 2017, a Cook County jury awarded a $4,111,477 verdict against Clare Oaks Assisi Healthcare Center. The case arose out of the death of Dolores Trendel, an 85 year-old woman, who was transferred to Clare Oaks in February of 2011 for physical therapy after suffering a fractured hip from a fall at home. At the time of her admission to Clare Oaks, Trendel was taking Coumadin, a prescription blood thinner to prevent blood clotting and a stroke. Trendel routinely required lab tests to reassess the effectiveness of her Coumadin dosage. A few weeks into her admission at Clare Oaks, a lab result came back indicating Trendel needed a higher dosage of Coumadin to effectively thin her blood. The plaintiffs alleged that instead of increasing Trendel’s Coumadin dosage, the staff at Clare Oaks stopped giving Trendel the medication altogether. There was testimony that an order discontinuing the Coumadin was entered by a nurse who communicated with Dr. Percival Bigol at the time. Dr. Bigol contended that the nurse was mistaken, and the order did not reflect his actual instructions.
Two weeks after the medication had allegedly been discontinued, Trendel was observed with stroke-like symptoms. She was transferred to a hospital where it was determined that her blood was not adequately thinned and she had suffered a stroke. Trendel’s family alleged that after the stroke, Trendel became partially paralyzed, and her quality of life continuously declined until she died four years later, at the age of 89. The jury found that the stroke contributed to cause her death.
The jury ultimately arrived at a verdict of $4,111,477 for Trendel’s estate against the nursing home. The jury found Dr. Bigol not liable for the patient’s injuries. The damages award consisted of the following elements:
- Loss of Normal Life: $2,000,000
- Pain and suffering: $1,000,000
- Disfigurement: $100,000
- Emotional Distress: $250,000
- Medical expenses: $511,477
- Loss of Society: $100,000 (awarded for Trendel’s children)
- Grief and Sorrow: $150,000 (awarded for Trendel’s children)
The plaintiff was represented by Susan L. Novosad, Margaret P. Battersby Black, and Daniel A. Goldfaden of Levin & Perconti. The judge was Thomas V. Lyons. For more information, please contact Rabiya.Bilfaqi@arandpartners.com.