A Cook County jury has ordered a Bartlett nursing home to pay more than $4.1 million to the family of an 89-year-old woman who died four years after she suffered a stroke while in the home’s care, allegedly because staff at the nursing home did not give her a prescription blood thinner.
On July 18, the jury in Chicago delivered a verdict in favor of the estate of Dolores Trendel, determining the actions of the staff at Clare Oaks Senior Living contributed to Trendel’s failed health and ultimate death.
Trendel’s family had filed suit in 2013 in Cook County Circuit Court after Trendel suffered a stroke, and her health and quality of life had allegedly declined. Trendel died about two years after the lawsuit was filed.
Trendel and her family were represented in the action by attorneys with the firm of Levin & Perconti, of Chicago.
According to a release from Levin & Perconti, Trendel had come to Assisi at Clare Oaks for physical therapy after breaking her hip when she fell at her home in January 2011. At the time, Trendel was taking Coumadin, a prescription blood thinner drug “to prevent clotting and a stroke.”
After undergoing a test purportedly to reassess her requirements for the drug, the plaintiffs alleged the staff at Clare Oaks “inexplicably” stopped giving Trendel the drug. The release noted Trendel’s doctor “insisted that he had not issued an order discontinuing the medication.” Clare Oaks had argued the doctor was responsible for discontinuing administration of the drug. But jury found the doctor “not liable.”
In March 2011, 14 days after the medication had allegedly been discontinued, Trendel “was observed with stroke like symptoms” and doctors at St. Alexius Medical Center “determined that her blood was not adequately thinned and she had suffered a stroke.”
Trendel’s family alleged Trendel’s “quality of life declined significantly” until she died four years later.
“The lawsuit exposed that the nursing staff at Clare Oaks had not followed their facility policies for medication management and administration,” Levin & Perconti said in the firm’s statement. “Not only had they erroneously cut off Dolores’ medication, they failed to detect their error despite procedures in place that required a daily audit of all patients’ medication administration records.”
Cook County court records indicate Clare Oaks was represented by the firm of Wilson Elser Moskowitz, of Chicago.
The trial was overseen by Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas V. Lyons.